30 Jan What Are the Best Concrete Repair Products and Methods?
Whatever type of building you have, it’s safe to assume that it involves concrete somewhere. Maybe concrete blocks form the main structure, or maybe concrete has been used for the foundations, the roof or for details of the building.
Like any construction material, concrete needs maintenance from time to time. It’s very robust and should last well, but it can be subject to cracking or deterioration over time. So what are the best methods and products to repair it?
What Problems Can Concrete Suffer?
The biggest enemy of concrete is the weather, particularly the regular freeze-thaw cycles. These mean that any water drops caught in the pores of the concrete will constantly be expanding and contracting.
This puts extra pressure on the concrete and can lead to cracks appearing in it. It can also cause other types of weakening of the materials, including spalling — pieces flaking off the surface. Depending on the nature of the damage, several types of repair can be used.
Mortars and Resins
If cracks appear in concrete, it’s often effective to seal them with either polymer-modified mortars or epoxy resins. Mortar brands such as Sika and Fosroc provide flexibility, reducing the risk of further cracking, as well as a durable surface that will protect the concrete against the weather.
Epoxy resins designed specifically for concrete, such as those made by Resincoat and Ronseal, have excellent bonding properties. This means they’ll seal cracks effectively and prevent water from getting in.
Structural Reinforcement of Concrete
If the concrete has degenerated too far for mortar or resin to be enough, especially if it’s forming the walls, it may need to be reinforced. One effective way of doing this is to use one of several carbon fibre reinforcement systems. The carbon fibre is embedded in a resin matrix, making an effective lightweight reinforcement solution.
Concrete is often strengthened by reinforcing steel structures, and this can be corroded by the weather. Corrosion inhibitors, such as MCI by Cortex, can effectively protect the steel against corrosion.
Besides repairing existing damage, it’s important to protect concrete against further deterioration caused by the weather. There are various concrete coating products that can effectively reduce the risk of future cracking or spalling.
These methods and products can be effective in repairing and protecting concrete — but they have to be applied expertly. Whether you’re sealing or reinforcing the concrete or protecting it against future damage, the work must be done by professionals with a good track record of working with concrete.
Give U&M a call to find out how we can help the concrete used for your property to remain effective and durable for a longer period.