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Pitting, Flaking, and Staining

Like any other structure on your property, concrete can become damaged and break down over time. Pitting, flaking, or staining are signs of this process.

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Homeowners rely on concrete for many different parts of their home. This includes driveways, sidewalks, exterior steps, or garage floors. For that reason, homeowners might feel concerned when they see the surface of these concrete structures begin to deteriorate. How does this happen in the first place? We’ll answer that question and offer solutions below.  

What Exactly is Pitting, Flaking, and Staining? 

While these problem signs are connected to one another, they might arise separately, and different things cause each one. Let’s go over the causes of each so you know what your concrete is dealing with. 

concrete pitting

What is Concrete Pitting?

Concrete pitting is easily recognizable as tiny, rough holes on the surface of the concrete. These holes represent a problem with the structural integrity of the concrete. Generally, pitting forms because of the way concrete was produced. If something goes wrong during the mixing process, pitting is more likely to occur. Other problems can arise while concrete is curing as well. Concrete issues that arise during this process aren’t normally the contractor’s fault, as concrete doesn’t always show warning signs at this early stage. 

For that reason, you can’t really know if your concrete will suffer from pitting – however, this problem sign usually appears in concrete with a low psi. Also, pitting appears around five years after the concrete has been poured. While these are general estimates, they can help you identify if your concrete is at risk for pitting and further structural damage.  

flaking, cracking concrete

What is Concrete Flaking?

Concrete flaking shares many similarities with pitting, although flaking differs in how it is caused and how it affects your concrete. Flaking still appears as damage to the concrete surface and it indicates a deeper structural issue, but it is caused by exposure to moisture and the freeze-thaw effect. Over time, rain can erode concrete, and the freeze-thaw effect (appearing in the winter months) can cause frozen moisture (such as snow) to expand and displace the surface of the concrete.  

Flaking might also appear because of man-made elements such as sprinklers or snow shoveling. If water particles are allowed to continuously bombard the surface of your concrete in any way, flaking can occur and cause concrete to break down internally.  

concrete staining

What is Concrete Staining?

Concrete staining is exactly what it sounds like – discoloration appearing on the surface of the concrete. This issue also arises because of moisture. Thankfully, staining itself doesn’t cause structural damage, but it can indicate that a larger structural issue is on the horizon. Staining might be caused by a few different things including mold, efflorescence, oil stains, or water damage.  

Staining may occur because your concrete is unable to drain water well, so be aware that this can lead to flaking if left unchecked. Not to mention, constant exposure to water might lead to soil washout, which can cause concrete to sink into the soil over time and crack.  


Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather and you can’t control errors that arise during construction. What you can do is try to control how much moisture hits your concrete. For that reason, you may want to invest in better drainage systems around your property. This can help mitigate the amount of moisture that is allowed to get onto your concrete. Additionally, performing regular maintenance can help you catch these problem signs early. While you can’t prevent flaking, pitting, and staining, you can do your best to stay vigilant of this issue  

Yes, any exposure to mold could cause allergies or respiratory issues to arise. If you don’t deal with mold quick enough, it could spread to other sections of your home. Mold releases spores which are carried by the air, so if the concrete is close to your home, mold could spread to the interior. Not to mention, mold can be bad news for your foundation – especially if it is a basement or crawl space. Mold breaks down organic materials like wood or drywall, so it can lead to structural issues in your home along with health problems. No homeowner deserves to deal with that. 

Yes, these same issues can affect your concrete slab foundation. If your driveway is suffering from these issues, they might eventually spread to your foundation. You should never ignore pitting, flaking, and staining because they indicate a larger problem on the horizon brought on by moisture. Since your home relies on its concrete slab foundation, any damage to it is also going to damage your home’s structural integrity.  

Call us For a Free Inspection 

Even though concrete pitting, flaking, and staining can’t be easily controlled, Mount Valley has the knowledge and expertise to protect your concrete from negative side effects. Our local team has helped homeowners in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Savannah for years, and we’d be happy to assist you with any concrete issues you might be facing. Contact us today to learn even more about concrete issues and solutions, and to schedule a free inspection with one of our experts. We’ll figure out a solution that works for you and your unique problem! 

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