Concrete Surface Flaking

Arlington County has observed concrete surface flaking on some sidewalks installed over the past few years. This began occurring regionally after the winter of 2013 and after harsh weather and multiple freeze-thaw cycles. An extensive investigation was conducted including an independent analysis of concrete samples, as well as a review of our specifications and construction practices.

The conclusions of our investigation are below:

  • This is a region-wide issue affecting many of our neighboring jurisdictions (who share similar construction standards and practices).
  • This is not a safety concern and only affects the appearance of sidewalks.
  • Typically the top 1/8 inch or less is affected and flaking is unlikely to advance below approximately ¼ inch.
  • A possible repair methodology has been identified and will be evaluated at a few pilot sites for durability over a harsh winter before considering wider use.
  • We will be communicating with residents about the importance of limiting salt use within the first two winters in areas where new concrete has been installed.
  • Additional quality assurance measures are being implemented to minimize the likelihood of scaling on future projects and further research will continue.

Sidewalk Scaling Letter to Community July 2015

For questions or concerns, contact Ramzi Awwad at or 703-228-3721.

Potholes Explained