Episode 5 – Definition of Spalling

Definition of Spalling

Spalling is a process of deterioration in concrete and bricks that not only impacts the aesthetic of a building’s surface but can have serious implications for its structural integrity.

What is spalling? The definition of spalling is the pitting, flaking, delaminating or cracks that appear in concrete or bricks when the temperature goes below freezing and the moisture trapped inside expands. Sudden and extreme changes in temperature can shift the concrete or brick, creating areas where moisture enters the structure and then expands during a freeze-thaw cycle to cause spalling.

Image showing spalling in brick exterior wall. The Vlog is about spalling, the meaning of spalling, spalling definition, and spalling on exterior wall
An exterior brick surface is deteriorated as a result of spalling caused by moisture expanding inside the material.


Spalling can also be caused in concrete by the embedded steel reinforcement bars corroding due to exposure to water and air through its porous surface over time. This corrosion causes stress on the surrounding concrete, and over the course of years this will worsen and could even lead to structural issues.

Spalling means a building will lose its aesthetic appeal and the presence of spalling makes a building look unmaintained. This appearance of neglect lowers the value of the property. Spalling could also be hazardous as falling debris or trip hazards are possible as a result of the structure’s deterioration. Failure to address the issue could result in injury, in addition to the potential structural and aesthetic problems.

Image of concrete wall supporting spalling cause, what causes spalling in new concrete and whether spalling is caused due to moisture
When spalling takes place on an exterior wall, like on the concrete surface above, it impacts a building’s aesthetic and could affect its structural integrity.


There are ways to prevent and repair spalling, but why not eliminate the problem as a possibility entirely? With Ceramitex – Sintered Ceramic Facade System, that’s an option. Ceramitex is the perfect choice for a durable exterior that won’t crack or delaminate thanks to the sintering process of high heat and pressure that doesn’t allow moisture to penetrate the surface. Natural materials such as silica, quartz, feldspars and clays are ground down and compacted using a temperature of 1200°C and a pressure more than the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

That process means Ceramitex stands out due to its unmatched ability to stand up to the elements over a long period of time. In addition to being waterproof and resistant to extreme weather and temperatures, Elemex’s North American code-compliant sintered ceramic cladding panels are also graffiti, scratch and impact resistant.

The large-format, lightweight sintered ceramic facades also solve that aesthetic problem caused by spalling. Ceramitex can be fabricated to an architect’s exacting specifications, thanks to Elemex’s Unity integrated attachment technology, and is available in a wide variety of color finishes and textures. Fully supported by the Elemex 360° Advantage, this sintered ceramic cladding is beautiful as well as long-lasting.  

To find out more about Ceramitex and other Elemex architectural facade systems, visit elemex.com or contact us at info@elemex.com.


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