What Is Concrete Repair?

Concrete Repair is a multi-faceted process that addresses the many types of damage found in structural concrete. The methods and materials employed for each repair vary according to the damage, the location of the repairs, and the objectives of the repair.

Concrete cracks, for example, can range in severity from a non-structural cosmetic flaw to one that negatively impacts durability and the safety of a structure. An evaluation by a licensed inspector is necessary to determine the status of concrete damage and to select a repair method.

The type of crack will also impact the methods and materials chosen for repair. For dormant cracks that are expected to move only very minimally, a V-cut along the crack, followed by sealing with an appropriate sealant material can be effective. Cracks that are active and anticipated to continue moving should be injected with an epoxy or similar material to accommodate movement and prevent water ingress.

For sunken sections of concrete, a lifting foam can be injected beneath the concrete to raise it back to its original level. Then a layer of appropriate aggregate can be placed on top to protect the repaired area from further damage and add strength.

If a section of concrete is severely damaged, removal and replacement may be required. Concrete replacement is a complex procedure that requires the expertise of a professional engineer. It is important to correctly match the replacement concrete to the surrounding areas of the existing structure in order to maintain proper load bearing capacity and continuity of the reinforcement steel in the structure.

Concrete deterioration is a common problem that can be difficult to predict and expensive to repair. It is critical to inspect concrete regularly for any signs of damage and have it assessed promptly to avoid the potential costs of major structural repair.

Some concrete deterioration can be prevented by addressing problems before they arise. For instance, water ponding on concrete surfaces should be eliminated by draining the surface or adding control joints to reduce the pressure of water in areas where it is concentrated.

Staining from chemicals, rust, or standing water can also be problematic. Cleaning as soon as possible can stop the staining from spreading, but for some discolorations, a chemical treatment may be needed to remove the stain completely.

It is critical that all concrete is properly designed and constructed from the outset to reduce its permeability and exposure to corrosive elements. In addition, the design and construction of concrete structures must be appropriate to the intended use of the building or structure in order to withstand the stresses and strains that it will encounter during its service life. If a structural element is not properly designed and built, it will experience premature failure and require costly repairs or even demolition.