A concrete restoration at Concrete Contractors Dallas TX is an affordable option for correcting damage and refreshing the look of concrete surfaces and structures. Rather than waiting for major cracks, chips, faded areas, and other signs of deterioration to develop, preventive maintenance will improve safety, reduce costs and extend the life of your concrete.
Preparing the area and using proper application techniques is the best way to approach concrete repair. UNIQUE offers various bagged concrete and patching mixes to meet your repair needs.
The first step in concrete crack repair is identifying the seriousness of the problem. Hairline cracks that are hardly visible from the surface of the concrete are generally safe and can be filled with common epoxy compounds or latex patching products found at home improvement stores. Cracks that are more noticeable from the sidewalk, patio, driveway or interior floor of the house need to be inspected by a professional. They can be a sign of more serious underlying issues such as spalling, corrosion and structural failure.
The next step is to prepare the cracked area for your concrete crack repair product. The crack should be clean, dry and free of debris, loose gravel, dirt, dust, moss or weeds that are growing in the cracked area. If you are using an epoxy kit, follow the instructions carefully to clean the area for best adhesion. A wire brush, sanding pad or grinding wheel can also be helpful in cleaning the crack and preparing it for a proper concrete repair.
For smaller cracks, you can use a hammer and chisel to chip away any cracked or crumbling concrete that is exposed at the bottom of the crack. This should be done to a depth that is at least an inch below the surface of the concrete. Make sure you remove all the slag and other debris from inside the crack so that the new concrete or crack filler has a good base to adhere to.
If you are working with a concrete mix or a cement-based patching product, you need to stuff the crack with foam backer rod that is sized appropriately for the width of the crack. This is a crucial part of the process and should be done to a thickness that is about an inch thick. Concrete crack repair products like QUIKRETE offer a wide range of options for the size and depth of your cracks.
Most concrete repair products require a certain amount of water to mix and set up properly. It is important that you are working in a well-ventilated area and following the directions on the package for mixing and pouring your concrete. It is also important that you work when the weather is favorable so that your repair will not be impeded by moisture.
When cracks, voids and honey-combed sections threaten the integrity of concrete structures, major structural repairs are required. This is typically done by removing the damaged areas and placing new concrete, with appropriate reinforcement. This work must be carefully planned, executed and tested to ensure that the structural defect is eliminated. A critical step in this process is a professional inspection by a qualified structural engineer.
The old dictum “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies to concrete structures. However, even the best structures will at some point require major restoration. In most cases, these projects involve a significant disruption of normal activity and require careful planning, scheduling, financing and execution to minimize the impact on a structure’s users. It is also essential to hire a concrete contractor with longtime repair restoration experience, since a lack of expertise can easily result in costly and unsuccessful repairs.
Structural concrete repair techniques depend on the type of material used, its placement method and a variety of other factors. For example, a repair must be sufficiently strong to carry the design loads and durable enough to withstand the forces of weathering. In addition, the material must be compatible with the existing concrete, have good abrasion resistance and not be odorous or toxic.
In some cases, structural repair may be based on epoxy injection and/or with additional reinforcement. In other cases, concrete replacement may be the best solution for a damaged structure.
For conventional concrete repair, the most important factor is to develop an integral bond with the existing concrete. This requires a low water/cement ratio (w/c) and a high percentage of coarse aggregate in the repair mix. Additionally, the repair must be placed in a manner that prevents the formation of cracks due to shrinkage.
Some repairs are more complicated than others and must be performed under special conditions, such as when reinforcing steel is present in compression members or when the structure is elevated. These projects may involve shoring and/or the removal of deteriorated concrete to expose and clean corroded reinforcing bars and then properly tying them to new steel. In these instances, the repairs must be carried out in accordance with an approved rebar detailing plan.
Depending on where the concrete is located and how it is used, full replacement may be a more cost-effective option than repairs. A new slab of concrete will require more work than just repairing existing concrete, including placing the concrete, allowing it to set and curing. Typically, a replacement will also need to be reinforced to carry the weight of heavy machinery and vehicles.
While a new slab of concrete can be very durable, it does not last forever. Cracks in the concrete can occur due to the natural aging of the concrete, as well as weather and environmental conditions. When the cracks are not addressed, they can widen and become more severe.
Repairing the cracks in the concrete is essential to the longevity of the structure and reducing the risk of further damage. The success of the repair is largely dependent on the quality of the concrete mix and the method of application.
In general, the best repair material is portland cement mortar or grout. It is a relatively low-cost material that has good adhesion to concrete. It is also capable of filling small cavities and restraining the movement of reinforcement steel within the concrete.
The concrete must be thoroughly cleaned before a repair is made. This includes removing any dirt or debris and ensuring that the area is dry. It is important to not let any water get into the cracks as this could cause more serious problems in the future.
As mentioned, every concrete slab will have some cracks. This is because concrete is very strong in compression but weak in tension. During the pour, an exothermic chemical reaction occurs that causes the heat to evaporate the water molecules from the concrete mass, leaving voids behind. Eventually, this leads to movement that creates cracks in the concrete slab.
To help avoid cracking, it is important to choose a concrete repair mix that has been prebagged and shrink-compensated. It is also a good idea to use a technique known as feathering to blend the new concrete with the surrounding slab. This will minimize the appearance of the crack and will mechanically lock the new concrete into place. The concrete should then be allowed to cure for a minimum of 28 days before being used.
Repairing Pool Decks
Many homeowners who have swimming pools experience damage to their concrete pool decks. These problems can be caused by weather changes, sunlight, pool chemicals, or the freezing and thawing of ice. The good news is that concrete repair products designed for pool decks can help prevent or fix all these issues.
Hairline cracks can often be repaired by filling them with a self-leveling product such as UNIQUE concrete patch. These concrete repair materials have a quick set time and are easy to apply, especially when working around a wet area such as a pool deck. This will ensure that any small cracks do not worsen over time.
Larger cracks may need to be filled with a stronger concrete mix. A concrete contractor will usually grind the existing surface of the concrete to remove any loose or crumbling areas and then apply a polyurethane injected solution such as UNIQUE XP. This product will fill the crack and then expand to create a permanent repair.
A damaged pool deck can also be resurfaced to improve its appearance and make it more functional. This can be done by either resurfacing the entire deck or simply having an overlay applied to the concrete. A professional concrete contractor will know which method is best suited for your pool deck.
Concrete coloring techniques such as integral pigments, water-based staining and acid stains can revive the color of your concrete pool deck. However, over time these colors can fade and the surface can become dull. Concrete resurfacing can restore the color and add a decorative finish to your pool deck.
If the slabs of concrete that form your pool deck are sinking, this can be dangerous for you and your guests. This happens when the soil beneath the slabs washes out and can no longer support the weight of the slab. This can be particularly problematic with pool decks because they are constantly surrounded by water.
There are several ways to fix a sunken concrete slab, including mudjacking or sand-jacking. However, the quickest and neatest way to solve this problem without shutting down your pool is by using polyurethane injection to raise the slab with a material that will not wash out.