Architectural Concrete Repair
The use of concrete in construction dates to ancient times. Like all building materials, concrete is subject to deterioration and requires regular maintenance. Composed of sand, gravel, crushed stone or other coarse material, and bound together with lime or cement, a chemical reaction hardens the material when water is added. Embedded reinforcing, such as steel, provides greater structural strength, but corrosion of this reinforcing is also considered the weakest link of concrete construction.
The patching and repair of architectural concrete involves much more than slapping some random patching mortar into a delaminated area. There are specialty repair mortars available to fit each specific situation and understanding how to use them is crucial.
As with any repair solution, understanding the root cause and proper preparation are crucial to the longevity of the repair. For the successful patching of concrete, one must avoid featheredging of any patching material, and properly clean and treat the corroded steel. This involves removing all unsound concrete, saw-cutting and removing the sound concrete to create a perimeter shoulder, and fully exposing the corroded steel. The steel should then be cleaned of all rust and treated with rust inhibitor prior to installing the appropriate repair materials.