Concrete is unquestionably one of the most durable construction materials available at the moment. But even the toughest construction materials will eventually show signs of beat down, over time. The first step of any concrete repair process is to identify the problem that needs fixing. The structural issues that may arise in concrete structures are widespread, but some issues tend to be more common than others. Read on to acquaint yourself with some of the most notorious concrete problems that can be fixed with concrete repair service.
All concrete tends to crack as it hardens. Why does this happen? There are various reasons for this. With changes in temperature and moisture levels, concrete expands and shrinks, but the general tendency is to shrink. This can lead to cracking during the early days when the concrete is drying or curing. Cracking can also occur due to settlement of subgrade materials or other issues revolving around the rate of drying, tensile strength, drying shrinkage, degree of restraint, tensile strain, and so on. In most cases, cracking is viewed as a purely cosmetic issue that should be solved to restore the aesthetics of concrete surfaces. However, it should not be recognised that cracking has the potential to cause serious structural integrity issues if left unattended.
Have you ever seen the near-surface part of hardened concrete looking as if it is peeled away? If you have, this is usually one of the most obvious signs pointing to scaling problems. This often occurs because of the concrete being exposed to constant freeze-thaw cycles. Usually, scaling initially manifests itself as small, localised patches that later on merge and expose larger surfaces. To prevent scaling, concrete exposed to freeze-thaw cycles will have to be air-entrained. It is also advisable to avoid the use of de-icing salts, as these chemicals will cause scaling. Instead, use sand to improve traction.
Sometimes referred to as spalling, pitting occurs when small holes appear on a concrete surface and make it look deteriorated. There are many reasons as to why pitting may occur. Some common ones include bad concrete mixing, improper concrete curing, constant exposure to heavy rain, snow and/or ice. Pitting may also arise because of concrete aging. To repair pitted concrete, you will need to fill the "pits" with a suitable concrete filler and apply a sealant to the repaired surface to protect it from wear and tear.