If one starts to notice damage in concrete, it is important to evaluate the issue to ensure that a dangerous situation, such as collapse, isn’t immediate.

For example a large diagonal crack across a concrete beam would be serious and indicate it is time to call a professional for repairs.

If the damage does not appear to be extremely serious, one must look at several factors:

•    The distance, or scope, of the damage.
•    If the damage is deep.
•    If there is corrosion in reinforcing steel.
•    If there are moving cracks.
•    If there is available information as to the construction of the concrete, such as what was used, drawings, etc.

Causes of concrete damage

Concrete is often an aggregated mix of sand, gravel, water and cement.

The concrete can eventually develop cracks based on certain factors or processes including the freezing of trapped water, fire, sea water, physical damage, chemical damage, a premature finishing and sealing of the concrete which can seal in air, or thermal cracks.

Types of concrete repairs

Cracks are a common problem in concrete.

However, even if initially minor, they can widen.

This can allow moisture to get inside which can cause further problems such as compromising the structure’s integrity.

Fortunately, there are many ways to repair concrete based on the specific situation.

Surface damage: Surface damage often has a chalky surface though it remains functional.

One must investigate to see what type of repair is needed.

This can be anywhere from a full-depth repair, which includes cutting out the damaged concrete, replacing steel, and then replacing the concrete, to overlays, which cover up the problem as long as good surface preparation is utilized.

 

Surface cracks: Cracks in concrete are inevitable.

Unfortunately, some cracks cannot be repaired, such as thin surface cracks, which don’t affect the concrete’s performance in any way.

Repairing this would be for cosmetic purposes only.

 

Structural cracks: If a crack actually affects the structures performance, it must be repaired.

Epoxy injections are a popular method of repairing this type of crack.

If there is no underlying problem that will cause a re-crack after repair, epoxy is often much stronger than concrete and can restore its strength.

If epoxy cannot be used due to too much deterioration, then the concrete must be removed and replaced.

 

Sunken concrete: Sunken concrete can be difficult to fix as past techniques’ success has been varied.

Some methods are extremely disruptive to whatever is going on in the structure, such as home life or a business operation.

However, technology and experts have developed solutions that involve almost no disruption to what is going on within the affected structure.

These include slabjacking, which is when grout is pumped beneath a beam to product a lift that restores the structure to its original elevation, and piering, where steel posts are driven through the unstable soil and jacks are used to stabilize the concrete slabs.

The chosen repair method depends on the type of distress being experienced.

 

Repairs are important as they can affect the structural integrity of a building as well as have unsightly aesthetic affects which can, in turn, affect property values.

 

For Specialists in Concrete Repairs and Refurbishment, Contact the Team at Diamond Protective Coating Services Pty Ltd

Diamond Protective Coatings Services