When talking construction materials, concrete is up there with the most durable on the planet. To make it, a number of incredible ingredients must be packed to perfection, producing the slab of toughness that we all know. It is this toughness that makes concrete the material of choice in a number of residential and industrial developments.
With ever-increasing pressure to repair and maintain the built environment, rather than the more traditional mindset of demolish and rebuild, concrete repair processes are becoming more and more important. There are a number of reasons why a concrete structure may need repair, however it is integral that there is an understanding of the cause, extent and location of the problem, through appropriate testing.
With this being said, concrete is a particularly complex material to produce and an even more complex material to repair. This is why we have created an expert guide on how to repair concrete, derived from years of industry experience on the subject.
Surface Preparation: Any concrete professional will tell you that the key to successful laying is preparation. The first thing you need to do is ready your surface, giving it a good clean. The best way to do this is usually with a pressure cleaner, ensuring you pay extra attention to the cracks – or whatever imperfection your surface may have. A clean, freshly washed area will give the concrete the best chance of curing and hardening.
Attend to the cracks: If the cracks are on the smaller side, you can use masonry filler, such as concrete sealer or pourable group. Cover up using gloves and a towel, ensuring that the crack is filled completely. Use a cement compound or a machine pour to deal with bigger cracks, and again, make sure that the crack is completely filled. You want to make sure the consistency of the filler is correct, ensuring it is thick and not too watery. Leave the filler to dry overnight, allowing it to bond with the surrounding concrete.
Clean the surface: After leaving the fillers to dry, give the concrete surface another spray with a pressure hose. Avoid spraying the freshly repaired areas too closely as this may unsettle the filler. In the event that you notice any displacement in the filler, it means more time needs to be given to allow the mixture to settle.
Concrete Application: It is now time to mix up some concrete, adding a little more water than usual, preventing it from drying too fast. Smooth the new cement using a rubber scraper, taking your time to wipe it over the entirety of the effected surface. To avoid discoloration when the new concrete dries, it is best to work in small areas. Perfect one area, and then move onto the next.
Seal the surface: After you are happy with your concrete application, seal the effected surface area. While doing this, ensure to watch out for any small cracks that may appear after time. It is always better to fill small cracks as they occur, preventing them from spreading and becoming a larger problem over time.