If you’ve discovered that your concrete foundation is crumbling and needs repairs, then Concrete Repair is here for you. First, determine what is crumbling. The naked eye can see cracking, but it can be caused by various factors, including improper design, stripping, or drying shrinkage. If you notice cracking, you can begin the repair process by removing crumbling sections. Sweep or vacuum any debris and hose it down to a solid base before proceeding with the repair.
The type of repair required will determine the kind of material used for the concrete. For example, structural repairs require concrete that has the same modulus as the concrete substrate, while nonstructural repairs can use a lower modulus material. Also, repair mortars should have low shrinkage compensation, so they don’t cause cracking after placement. Also, different types of repair mortars have different properties and may require different types of surface preparation. If the repair is large enough, more than one type of preparation method may be necessary.
The crack repair can be a combination of structural bonding and water-tight sealing. The former involves structural bonding and epoxy injection, which requires a skilled contractor. Epoxy is injected under pressure into the crack and welds it together to form a monolithic structure. This method is best used when a concrete crack is not actively growing. A water-tight seal is achieved by using a urethane sealant. However, this technique has its limitations and should only be used if you are sure that the cracks are not active.
The next step is repairing the concrete. The repair process will be more affordable if you know the cause of the damage and can get professional help. A qualified repair company will assess the problem and suggest the best course of action. It’s better to consult with a professional than to attempt a DIY project. If you can’t determine the cause of the damage, you can use concrete repair to level out the damaged area. This will save you from spending a lot of money on replacement.
After you’ve determined the problem, you should determine whether it’s a minor defect or a major one. In either case, you should use a concrete repair manual to determine the best way to make the necessary repairs. Before beginning the repair, make sure the area is thoroughly moist and clean. Remember that proper preparation of the existing concrete will minimize the differential shrinkage of the repair material and the original concrete. The repair material should bond well with the existing concrete.
Chemical and physical factors both affect the structural integrity of the concrete. Chemical deterioration is caused by the leaching of cement paste, which causes the concrete to become pliable. Porosity makes concrete vulnerable to abrasion and other damage. Abrasion and erosion are two major mechanical causes. The latter can result from overloading or faults in the construction of the concrete. Thankfully, the chemical cause of concrete damage is much more predictable.
To make a concrete repair, it is important to follow the proper guidelines for use of aggregate. For instance, the maximum size of aggregate used should be as large as possible, but the material should not be thinner than the minimum dimensions of the repair. A saw cut at the break is the preferred method, but it is also possible to get away with a thinner piece. For smaller repairs, a thin cut is the best choice. For larger ones, make sure the maximum aggregate size is at least 50% of the minimum repair thickness.
Once you’ve decided on the type of concrete repair, you can choose a vinyl-patching compound or a bonding agent. Vinyl-patching compound is a self-bonding cement mixture designed for medium-to-large cracks. The compound is available in tubs or 40-pound bags and can be applied using a feather edge or 1/16 inch of concrete. To make it even smoother, add a layer of sand over the cracked area.
Corrosion occurs when harmful materials penetrate the concrete, reaching the steel reinforcement. These materials undergo a chemical reaction that releases ferrous ions at the anode and hydroxide ions at the cathode. The result is rust, a dark, brown substance that occupies a much larger volume than steel. The steel in the reinforced concrete corrodes more quickly and severely than in the repaired area. Cracks and holes in concrete allow harmful materials to penetrate the structure.