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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