Q.: We have a sidewalk that has scaled. The contractor who built it didn't seem to be competent; he didn't even use a jitterbug. Doesn't this warrant our demanding that he repair or replace it?

A.: Surface scaling can result from any of a number of conditions or practices, including an inadequate air content, excessive water in the mix, finishing while bleed water is still on the surface, adding water while finishing, inadequate curing, or applying deicers before the slab has dried adequately after curing. Actually, using the jitterbug is not recommended unless the slump of the concrete is less than 3 inches or the concrete is made of lightweight aggregate. Otherwise using the jitterbug could contribute to scaling, not prevent it.