Concrete Repair: Choosing the Right Material

The key to successful concrete repair lies in identifying the source of the damage, and if possible, repairing it before building foundations resume. However, many repairs are better dealt with by an experienced concrete contractor. You can’t cut corners when it comes to concrete repair. So, where do you start? How do you proceed?

The first step to take when attempting a concrete repair is to assess the extent of the damage. The extent of the damage will determine whether or not you should attempt to repair the concrete yourself, or if you should contact a professional contractor to get the job done right. The best way to assess the extent of a crack or other damage lies in making use of an exterior concrete inspection camera. The camera can quickly assess the amount of concrete repair needed to repair the damage. Need Help?

If cracks occur inside walls or around windows, they may not be easily repaired. These types of cracks will typically not yield to ordinary repair attempts. The best course of action would be to hire a qualified contracting company to professionally repair any exterior concrete surfaces that developed cracks. For example, if you found several small cracks in your pool house, you may wish to have the damage repaired by a contracting company. Small cracks in wood are easily fixed, as long as they are attended to immediately. On the other hand, large cracks in wood are most likely to require large amounts of structural steel to repair properly.

Large or extensive cracks in concrete surfaces should also be evaluated by a professional before repair material is applied. Often, small cracks turn into large cracks over time, unless they are attended to promptly. Contractors can apply patching material to help mend larger cracks before they turn into major damage. However, patching improperly patched areas could worsen the damage, causing more structural damage as time passes.

If repair concrete requires the use of parent concrete, it is necessary for the homeowner to identify whether the repair concrete contains cement-based or water-based aggregates. Cement-based aggregate repair materials are used when the cracks in the parent concrete require repair due to structural concerns. Water-based aggregates are primarily used for aesthetic enhancements. Unfortunately, using water-based material may cause structural damage to the home’s integrity over time.

In some situations, unsound concrete may develop because of excessive heat. Homeowners should contact a structural engineer or a contractor specializing in unsound or strip foundation repair. Some of the common causes include concrete slab failure, wetting of the surface, fractures caused by soil pressure, and aging of the underlying structure. To ensure proper foundation construction, homeowners should also install the necessary reinforcements such as tiebacks or flashings at key joints. If these basic repairs are not done correctly, homeowners risk the possibility of further structural damage down the road.

Although there are several different ways of strengthening a structure, many homeowners choose to utilize both parent concrete and water-based repair mortar. Although both substances can effectively strengthen a foundation, each one has unique pros and cons. For example, using parent concrete can add both the strength needed to carry heavier loads and the protection needed against moisture. On the other hand, using water-based materials can speed up foundation construction while ensuring added strength at the same time. Water-based products do not contain the chemicals that can weaken a foundation over time. However, these products typically lack the lasting strength that parent concrete offers.

When repairing slab floor issues, homeowners should take two approaches. First, they can repair damaged sections of the slab by locating the damaged section and drilling holes to make repairs. Second, they can utilize floating floor tiles to cover up damaged sections of the slab. These floating tiles are connected to larger strips of material that make up the actual floor of the house. This system allows for easy maintenance and allows for the repair of damaged sections without disrupting the rest of the home’s interior surface.

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Concrete Repair & Maintenance

Concrete repair is needed for many different reasons including repairing cracks in the foundation, repairing deteriorated sidewalks and driveways, and reconstructing damaged pavement. While some repairs can be done by local contractors, some require specialized equipment or even specialized people who are trained in this field. It is important to first determine what type of repair is needed before contacting any contractors. Some homeowners choose to do it themselves, but there are some risks involved including the risk of damaging the concrete, risking bacteria or mold, and not knowing what you are doing. There are some simple steps to take to ensure the process is safe and effective.

Homeowners should check all around the exterior of the foundation and look for any cracks or other signs of trouble. If the problem lies within the concrete itself, then the only option is to have it reinforced. Proper concrete repair should be able to address all cracks and other issues. If the outer surface of the structure is fine, then any repairs may only be required on the inside of the structure.

Before calling a contractor, homeowners should inspect the area where the crack or other issue is located. Small cracks may be easily fixed without any additional work. Larger cracks, however, will often require concrete repairs. Some home builders choose to fill in the crack with concrete, but this method is not always as effective as sealing the crack in place with a substance such as Portland cement. Homeowners can choose to fill the crack with a mixture of water and epoxy, which cures into a solid sealer that can be sanded down and painted over after it has cured completely. Other homeowners prefer to inject additional reinforcement into the area.

There are many ways in which repairs can be made to an existing concrete surface. Most people opt for simply repairing the cracks, but this does not address the entire problem. Walls should be repaired and replaced if cracked because concrete walls are actually weaker than reinforced steel walls. The area should be cleared of obstacles, such as trees so that the repairs can be done completely. When the walls are replaced, the existing concrete should be left in place. This is because new walling cannot be installed over old concrete, and old materials will need to be replaced.

Epoxy is a popular material for concrete repairs because it is non-reactive, which means that it will not attract other pests like mold. Epoxy can also be applied in a variety of textures, including wide, regular, and narrow grains. While regular grains are used for regular cracks, wide and narrow grains are used for small cracks and other decorative details. It is important to note that epoxy will not bond with wood, which is why it is used for interior and exterior decorations. The chemicals contained in epoxy are very powerful, so it is very important that it is properly stored when not in use.

Another form of concrete repair is called crack lining, which addresses cracks in building materials that are exposed to the elements. The most common application of crack lining is to waterproof buildings and dams. A dam is constructed with a concrete structure surrounding an inner layer of polystyrene or concrete. The outer layer is usually made of tar or gravel to provide additional structural strength.

After a large natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, the federal government may require that certain concrete structures are strengthened in preparation for future emergencies. One method that is commonly used is epoxy injection. A chemical is injected into the crack, creating a hard coating that will resist moisture and prevent further corrosion. This hard surface also makes it easier to clean, which is important in a variety of settings.

In cases where the concrete surface has become cracked but is not completely unsound, another technique called flash Floodlining can be used. This technique relies on the fact that water tends to expand and contract, and if there are any stagnant water masses in an area, they will eventually break through the concrete and create a permeable membrane. Through this new permeable layer, a thin waterproof film can be applied that will seal off the entire area from further water damage. Epoxy injection and flash Floodlining are generally reserved for unsound or deeply cracked concrete because their effectiveness is limited by the amount of time that the concrete can be wet.