How to Repair Pop Outs in a Concrete Patio Caused by Freezing

I have a concrete patio that has spots about the size of a quarter which crack and pop out whenever it gets covered in snow or ice. What’s causing this and can it be repaired? -Tommy

Hi Tommy,

It’s not so much the concrete that’s causing a problem with your patio as what’s inside it. The company that mixed the concrete for the patio probably used an aggregate that was fairly porous – such as ironstone, coal, shale, or limestone – which absorbs and holds moisture.

When the concrete freezes, the water inside the aggregate expands and pops out through the surface as you have observed. This can happen in concrete driveways, sidewalks, and porch slabs as well.

The good news is that pop outs in concrete are a cosmetic defect that doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the slab. You can patch the small holes by cleaning out the loose material and filling each one with a concrete patching material.

If you have an over abundance of pop outs in your concrete slab, you need to consider resurfacing the patio. I would take a look at some of the products from Quikrete. They’ve been tackling these issues for a while and have some good solutions for both resurfacing and patching concrete.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


  1. I had new patio and stairs poured last spring. the surface was never a consistent color and I was told by the contractor that it was normal due to the curing process. the variations still exist and now there are small ‘pop outs’ varying in size scattered throughout. also, I can see future pop outs where there appears to weeds/grass embedded in the surface. My concern is the integrity of the pour and the durability of the surface. Thank you.

  2. So the concrete slab is the foundation that my house is sitting on and it happens to have several extremely large cracks throughout the house. It is also separating the house into four or more pieces. How may I fix this problem?


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