Concrete Rehab: Essential Insights and Tips

Many factors, including weather, can cause concrete damage. You’ll need a repair material that can resist moisture and extreme temperature changes and one that can expand slightly with heat or contract with cold.

Concrete Repair

Since the full scope of work is often unknown until the damaged areas are chipped away, most engineers approve payment for unit cost items rather than a stipulated sum. For professional help, you may contact Concrete Repair Eau Claire.

Crack Sealer is used to fill in and seal small cracks in concrete. It helps protect the concrete from water, ice, dirt and other contaminants that cause deterioration. It is especially useful on surfaces that are exposed to traffic.

It is a cost-effective way to extend the life of exterior concrete. It is particularly helpful on roads and parking lots. It can be used in conjunction with chip seals, HMA overlays, slurry seals and micro seals. Crack sealing is most effective in moderate temperatures.

Prior to application of crack sealant, the area should be cleaned. This can be done by scrubbing the area with a wire brush or power scrubber to remove loose debris. It is also necessary to clean out the crack using a power washer. The crack should be routed out to a minimum of 1/4 inch wide. This allows the sealant to adhere properly to the main body of the concrete. It is recommended that a chisel be used to create a backward angled cut in the crack, as this will help keep the crack from backing out later.

Applying the crack sealant is simple. The crack sealant is heated in a machine to 380 degrees F and placed into the crack. A squeegee is then used to smooth the crack sealant to a level surface. The sealant will begin to set in 20 to 40 minutes. This is sufficient time to allow the crack to be opened to traffic.

Once the sealant has cured, the crack can be painted over. The paint will help to camouflage the crack and give it a finished look. If the crack is not to be painted, a blotter can be used to remove excess sealant from the surface. This will prevent traffic tracking on the fresh treatment and prolonging its life.

It is important to use a concrete crack filler that is designed to be flexible and stretch with the movement of the concrete. Using the wrong type of repair can lead to further deterioration of the concrete. It is also critical to avoid overfilling the crack. Overfilling can cause the crack to widen and potentially detach from the concrete.

Repairing Large Cracks

If your concrete is suffering from wide, deep cracks that are not confined to one small section, it’s likely time to call in the professionals. Attempting to fill these types of cracks with traditional patch materials can lead to the cracks resurfacing and potentially worsening over time. It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced concrete contractor to find out whether full replacement is a better option, or to try resurfacing the area with a decorative overlay that can help disguise the cracks.

The first step in repairing large cracks is to clean out the entire area. Any debris or gravel that is stuck within the crack will keep the repair compound from adhering to the concrete. It is also a good idea to chisel the crack, and to orient it in an angle back towards the body of the concrete. This creates a wider base for the crack, and prevents it from back out of the repair once it sets.

Once the crack is cleaned, it’s important to make sure that it is fully dry. Any water left inside of the crack could cause the concrete repair to fail. A sand-water mix is recommended, which can be applied with a trowel to ensure that the crack is fully filled.

It is a good idea to use a plastic sheet, such as a tarp, over the area where you’re working to protect your property from the cement. Afterwards, use a shop vacuum to remove any dust and debris from the surface.

Once you’ve finished cleaning the crack, mix your chosen concrete patch material according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s best to work with a small trowel to apply the patch, and to only add a 1/4″ layer at a time. When you have a small amount of patch in place, use your trowel to blend the surface with the surrounding concrete, and to make sure that it is level with the top surface.

It’s worth noting that concrete repairs will frequently produce a lighter colour than the parent concrete, as until their surfaces weather, they will not support the algal or mould growth which darkens ‘aged’ concrete. The darker colour can be offset to some degree by the use of pigments during mixing, but this only delays the process for a few years.

Repairing Holes

Concrete repairs can include patching, re-colking or re-pointing to repair joints. Concrete repairs can also involve levelling or slab jacking to raise or lower areas of the surface. A more long term approach to repairing damage is to prevent future deterioration by addressing the causes of the damage.

Concrete cracks are caused by many factors, including water movement and freeze-thaw cycles. Sealants can be used to fill the cracks and reduce their occurrence but the underlying problem must be addressed to stop the cracks recurring. The best solution is to use a concrete repair material that includes both cement and aggregate. It’s important that the correct mix is chosen to match the parent concrete and that it will weather in the same way as the existing structure.

A range of products has been developed to repair delaminated surfaces, some with a polymer modified component which adheres strongly to the host concrete and can be applied as a thin layer. These are not popular with the conservation industry as they introduce different materials and will not weather-in to match the concrete.

Other techniques for repairing damage to concrete include epoxy injection to fill thin cracks, or concrete shotcrete for deeper cracks. These treatments can be very expensive but can have a good impact on the longevity of concrete structures.

Concrete repairs may be made by using a variety of materials and techniques, including dry packing, hydraulic cement, and concrete slurry or mortar. The choice of material will depend on the particular situation and the budget. For example, dry packing is often the most economical method but is not suitable for all situations.

A wide variety of bonding agents can be added to concrete repair mixes to improve adhesion. These chemicals, when painted onto the concrete surface before applying the repair, bind to the old concrete and help it to remain stable in a freeze-thaw environment.

Concrete repair can be hazardous work, particularly for large projects or repairs in high places. It is important to hire a professional concrete contractor who has the proper training and safety equipment to complete the project. A reputable concrete repair contractor should also offer warranties for their work and be insured.

Repairing Damaged Areas

Many concrete surfaces require a good deal of maintenance and repair to prolong their lives and reduce the need for costly replacement. A proactive approach to these repairs can help maintain a functional environment, while minimizing the impact on productivity and reducing downtime. The use of the right materials, proper construction practices and sound maintenance procedures will minimize the need for future repairs.

To identify the best solution for repairing damaged areas, it is important to understand that each situation is unique and requires a thorough inspection. A non-destructive evaluation (NDE) technique such as impact-echo or radar can reveal a lot about the condition of concrete without the need to break open it. A hammer and spray paint can also be used to identify delaminated or damaged areas by pinging the surface; sound concrete will give a hard ring while delaminated and weak concrete will ping with a dull hollow sound.

Once the extent of the damage is known, it is a good idea to use a handheld rotary power grinder to remove any unsound concrete and expose the underlying sound material. After the area is cleaned, it is important to outline the repair area with painter’s tape and etch the surface of the concrete to improve the bond with the repair materials.

While there are a wide variety of concrete repair products available, not all of them are created equal. It is important to consider the physical properties of each product and the requirements of the project, such as constructability, application methods and curing practices. A few of the most important properties include cracking resistance (drying shrinkage and modulus of elasticity), permeability, freeze-thaw durability and bond strength.

A good concrete repair product should have a low drying shrinkage and high modulus of elasticity. This is critical to a long term durable repair because the higher the drying shrinkage of a concrete repair, the greater the risk that it will debond from the parent concrete. Similarly, a high freezing and thawing durability will help ensure that the repair survives exposure to harsh conditions.

The Concrete Repair Process

Concrete repairs address safety hazards and extend the lifespan of concrete structures. This reduces maintenance costs and provides a safer environment for the public. The repair process at starts with a thorough inspection of the damaged concrete. This evaluation classifies the severity of the cracking and identifies if it is active or dormant.


The first step in any concrete repair procedure is the preparation of the area. This includes removing any loose or friable material, including the edges of the damaged concrete. All cracks should be cleaned and prepared for filling with a special hydraulic cement. If the cracks are very thin, this may involve simple spraying with a water jet or a technique called “feathering.” This process involves spreading the concrete mix with a trowel and lightly blending the wet concrete into the surrounding dry concrete.

For most repairs, the best repair product to use is the same mix that was used for the precast section. This is the most cost effective way to ensure proper compatibility. This is particularly important when repairing structural members where shear and bending forces can be transmitted to the new concrete.

When preparing the concrete surface for the repair, the surface profile should be as close to the original surface of the precast concrete as possible. This will improve the long-term performance of the repaired concrete. The concrete should also be free of any contamination that would prevent topical materials from adhering or penetrating into the surface. This could include old sealer, rust stains, mildew or other surface contamination.

Often, concrete surfaces with damage due to corrosion require treatment before the repair can be made. Grit blasting, or the application of chemical treatments, can be used to remove corrosion products and return the concrete surface to its original state.

In addition, any areas of spalling need to be repaired. This can be done by filling or patching the areas of rough and pitted concrete. Joints that deteriorate require repair, as well as the re-colking of the joints to ensure they can expand and contract without damaging the surrounding concrete. Levelling and slab jacking can be used to lift unlevel concrete sections.

Once the evaluation, product comparison and preparation is completed, the repairs can begin. It is very important that the causes of the damage be identified and tackled so they can be prevented from recurring. Otherwise, the same concrete damage will occur over and over again and result in unnecessary repair costs.


The first step in concrete repair is to prepare the area. Remove any debris and if necessary, add and compact new backfill material. If damage to the subbase is caused by the removal process it should be repaired with a layer of good quality crushed stone. If this is not possible, the damaged areas should be excavated down to a suitable depth and a fresh layer of backfill material added. Ideally, a compactor should be used that is small enough to maneuver in the confined patch area.

If the repairs involve replacement of concrete, a bond coat must be applied to the old concrete surface. This is usually a mix of equal parts portland cement and sand. Alternatively, epoxy resins or latex emulsions with portland cement may be used as bonding materials. Often, a resurfacer will be used to smooth the surface of the concrete prior to applying the bond coat.

Once the concrete has been resurfaced, it should be inspected to determine if a proper bond exists between the old and new concrete surfaces. If not, the surface of the concrete must be sandblasted to prepare it for a new coating.

The concrete repair materials must be compatible with the existing precast concrete in terms of both mechanical attributes and curing conditions. For example, the compressive strength of a precast concrete panel should not be less than 4,000 psi. If this is not possible, a stronger bag mix that cures rapidly may be needed.

In addition, the repair procedures must be compatible with any environmental and safety requirements. For example, some locations have restrictions on the type of equipment and the types of materials that can be used. This can require special considerations for the placement of repair materials that are odorous, toxic or combustible.

Larger repairs that involve replacing sections of concrete with new concrete will usually require the use of forms. These must be designed to be strong, lightweight and mortar-tight. It is also important to construct the form in stages so that placing progresses without delay. For example, the front panels of a form should be constructed as placing progresses so that the concrete can be removed quickly if a problem occurs.


Concrete structures are subjected to a variety of environmental factors that can cause damage and deterioration. These factors can affect the structural integrity of the structure and compromise its safety and stability. Repairs to these structures are required to address this damage and prevent future deterioration.

The repair process is different depending on the type and severity of the damage. Structural repairs can involve repairing and replacing damaged concrete sections. It can also include repairing or adding reinforcement to strengthen the concrete structure. Decorative concrete repairs can be more straightforward and involve filling or patching cracks in the concrete surface.

The first step in repairing concrete is assessing the extent of the damage and its effect on the structure’s serviceability. This helps to determine whether the damage can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. In some cases, the damage may be so severe that it is not safe to use the concrete in question and needs to be replaced entirely.

Next, the concrete should be cleaned to remove any dirt or debris that has built up over time. This can be done using sandblasting or shotblasting. Once the concrete is clean, a bond coat can be applied to the surface. This is usually a mixture of one part cement and two parts sand, which is spread into the cracks using a trowel. It is important that the bond coat is not allowed to set before the concrete is poured.

Once the bond coat has been applied, the cracks can be filled with concrete. It is important to ensure that the concrete is not poured too quickly, as this can cause it to settle unevenly and lead to further damage. It is also important that the cracks are thoroughly filled and that any air bubbles are removed. Once the concrete has cured, it should be checked for any remaining cracks and sealed if necessary.

Another method of concrete repair is epoxy injection. This is a quick and cost-effective method that can be used to repair small cracks in concrete. It is also effective for repairing concrete columns and slabs. This technique is particularly useful when a structure has been exposed to cyclic loading, freezing and thawing cycles, or corrosion of steel reinforcing bars.


After the concrete is poured, it needs to be adequately cured. This will enhance its quality and improve the longevity of the concrete structure. Proper curing will enhance its strength, durability, water-tightness and abrasion resistance. However, if not done correctly, the concrete can fail prematurely. This is why it is important to take the time to evaluate concrete damage, properly prepare the damaged areas, and apply a quality repair material.

Repairing precast concrete is usually accomplished by placing a fresh concrete mix into the damaged area and bonding it with the existing concrete. The concrete should be a similar mix to the concrete that was originally cast. This will ensure that the mechanical attributes of the new concrete – modulus of elasticity, permeability and thermal expansion – are compatible with the original concrete base.

The quality of the repairs will depend largely on the preparation and mixing of the concrete, the amount of water used, the type of curing technique used and the environment in which the concrete is placed. Some of the more common curing methods include ponding, immersion, spraying and fogging. In all cases, care should be taken to avoid large temperature differentials within the concrete mass and the curing environment. This will prevent cracking caused by thermal shock.

During the curing process, the concrete should be covered to prevent evaporation. This will allow the concrete to maintain a uniform moisture level, which is essential for proper hydration and strength development. A cover will also help to reduce surface contamination and the occurrence of air bubbles within the concrete.

In addition to a cover, other curing techniques may include the use of plastic sheets, paper bags, aluminum foil and insulated blankets. All of these will aid in retaining the concrete’s moisture and help to reduce evaporation, which will accelerate the rate of strength development.