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Finishing the Sidewalk Scaling Situation

The August edition of Concrete International Magazine provides an in-depth look at the issues surrounding sidewalk scaling in extreme cold weather and what best practices should be used to mitigate the problem. SCA member volunteer, Henry Prenger, penned the article and provided a great overview of his decades long work on the subject. Understanding the full ‘scale’ of the scaling situation is necessary to ensure future sidewalk projects are successful.

Article excerpt below:

"It was a year of extreme winter weather in Maryland—a year with so many ice storms that salt reserves in the area were nearly depleted. It was 1994, a year that became known within the Maryland State Highway Administration as the year that all the sidewalks scaled. The widespread damage prompted what has turned into my lifelong study of the problem. I previously investigated some major concrete issues as a concrete engineer for the state of Maryland, but none of those issues stirred such visceral feelings in the community as occurred when the sidewalks began to scale in the spring of 1994.

After investigating and identifying the issues that caused the scaling, meetings were held with contractors, concrete material suppliers, ready mixed concrete producers, and inspectors to address the issues. Things were better in the following years, and the issue was forgotten—until about 10 years later, when another round of bad weather hit the area and showed that the root cause was never addressed. Scaling was a problem once again, and this time, the problem wasn’t limited to Maryland."

Full article available courtesy of the American Concrete Institute

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