Concrete is one of the most used and durable man-made material in the world. Structures built with concrete have numerous advantages, from superior fire resistance to environmental perks. It’s strong and sturdy, yes, but not a super-substance.
Like all materials, concrete also tends to wither and crack. There are various reasons as to why concrete needs repairs. For instance, when faced with prolonged extreme weather conditions, concrete’s quality can alter significantly. Following are a few reasons that make concrete repair a necessary concern:
Structural or physical damage can be caused to concrete while casting and de-shuttering process. Concrete walls, pipelines as well as concrete slabs are susceptible to damage while ground settlement and seismic tremors. It can also be caused by expansion and contraction during extreme temperatures.
Concrete repair, in this case, becomes immensely important because if left unchecked or unrepaired, it can further disintegrate the concrete structure. Chemical processes such as carbonation can harm concrete structures. Other chemicals cause concrete degradation are:
- Chlorides (particularly calcium chloride).
- Chemical sulfate attack (happens when sulfate in concrete cement when come in contact with cement cause chemical changes and weaken the chemical binder).
- Leaching (when water streams through cracks that are already present in concrete, it dissolves the minerals present that hardened the cement).
- Seawater (exposing concrete to seawater can have corrosive effects).
Corrosion of Reinforcement
The expansion of corrodible products of carbon steel reinforcement buildings can involve mechanical stress that can instigate the formation of cracks and unsettle concrete structures. Consequently needing the concrete to be repaired.
If cracks are left as it is then water damage can further the deterioration of concrete, hence concrete repair in cases of cracks is crucial for the life-cycle of a concrete structure.
Other Factors that Cause Concrete Damage
- Fire damage.
- Blast damage.
- Seismic damage.
- Insufficient reinforcement.
- Excessive loads.
Some Approaches to Concrete Repair
- A full-depth repair – includes removal of damaged concrete through methods like robotic hydrodemolition, replacement of reinforced steel and replacement with fresh, new concrete.
- A partial-depth repair – involves cutting around the edges of the damaged concrete and removing it. Sometimes this can include cleaning and repairing the reinforced steel.