Concrete is a fantastic building material. It’s easily formed, mixed and transported. It’s durable, structurally sound and capable of a wide range of engineering purposes. But what it isn’t is permanent.
Over time concrete develops cracks, loses the material on its surface and breaks down when in contact with the elements. Concrete is tough, but it’s not indestructible. With time and exposure, it breaks down. And when it does, it compromises structural integrity, allowing water to reach structural steel and start a rust chain reaction that can cause incredible damage.
But with proper care concrete can last far longer than when it’s left to its own devices. When cracks occur and allow water into normally-sealed surfaces, it’s crucial to repair them as soon as possible. Here are the two best ways experts use to repair concrete.
Carbon fiber reinforcement
Carbon fiber and fabric straps combined with epoxy and anchors can be a very effective way to repair structural concrete. With proper installation, the straps redistribute the load and reinforce the wall just the same way that steel beams do.
Whether there’s a wall bowing in or it’s just suffering from a little deterioration, this repair method adds strength to the wall and returns it to its original strength. In earthquake-prone areas, it can even reinforce existing structures that don’t need repair.
Small cracks can often be repaired with epoxy injection, which can return the concrete to its original strength if done correctly. Non-moving cracks can often be repaired with epoxy unless they’re weeping water, in which case a different compound has to be used.
Before the crack repair it’s essential to make sure the cause of the crack is alleviated or the crack will just open up again. Then the crack must be cleaned and sprayed out with clean air. Finally, with a clean and dry surface to work with, the epoxy can be injected. It spreads throughout the entire crack network, reaching into small crannies that aren’t visible from the surface.
Depending on the application these two methods will take care of much of the concrete repair your structure might need help with. But it needs to be applied by someone who knows what they’re doing. Call JKI and we’ll help you repair your concrete and make it as good or better than new.