The first step should always be an investigation to determine the cause of the deterioration. Those conducting the investigation should be experienced in the means and methods of concrete condition assessment surveys. Notes, pictures and a sketch done in the field will refresh thoughts when a formal report is produced. The report shall include a description of the structure, the type environment, stresses, overall present condition. The general principles of repair include: removal of unsound distressed concrete, arresting and preventing further degradation; treating exposed steel reinforcement; effective surface preparation, and replacing lost section removal from spalled or damaged concrete.
Structural concrete repair is a combination of understanding the cause and effect surrounding a deficiency, recognizing the skills and installation methods needed for a proper repair, and having the experience to select specific repair materials. Each repair stands alone where “one size does not fit all”. To make a long lasting cost effective concrete repair the first time, ICRI means and methods of construction, an engineered design, and a qualified restoration repair contractor are the three essential elements needed to ensure the expected outcome.
The most common types of structural concrete repair needs may include concrete spalls, cracks, delamination, chemical degradation, poor construction techniques , aggressive environmental exposure, and insufficient load capacity. Each repair method must provide a monolithic, fully bonded structural outcome where the concrete element achieves or exceeds the original design strength as required. It is critical to hire a qualified concrete restoration contractor to repair each concrete condition and deliver finished results which meet the engineer’s design. These repairs will require specific knowledge and installation methods about materials such as specialty repair mortars, epoxy resins, bonding agents, integrated protective systems, and external structural strengthening in different conditions and environments.
Various techniques are available for repairing concrete structures. The selection of the appropriate technique will depend on the cause of the initial damage (e.g. corrosion of the reinforcement, chemical attack, fire) and whether the repair is to be fully load-bearing or simply cosmetic. Techniques for arresting and preventing further degradation include: Cathodic protection; Chloride extraction; Re-alkalization; repair of cracks, spalls and preventive means using surface sealers and or coatings.
Once a critical structural repair has been completed, some owners will employ a qualified testing laboratory to extract concrete cores, perform acoustic sounding, x-ray, GPS imaging, or ferro scanning, pull-off bonded coupon testing, and other means in accordance with ICRI and ASTM methods. This provides a final confirmation and level of quality assurance that the concrete element has been structurally repaired.
Some additional considerations for every application:
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