There are a plethora of choices available in the market today for repairing the concrete. The manufacturers deliver a range of materials like cement-based, acrylic-modified, epoxies and other chemicals, which is quite dilemmatic to choose from.
Read on for the tips on right materials and methods for a successful concrete repair project.
- Selection of repair mortar
When choosing a product, make sure you evaluate its workability. Repair mortars are meant to be applied, pourable, pumpable, spray applied, flowable or self-leveling.
The mortars which are flowable in nature are easy to apply on horizontal surfaces. Spray mortars are easy to apply in surfaces like vertical and overhead surfaces. Trowel or hand-picked mortars are ideal for vertical, horizontal or overhead surfaces. This type of mortar has higher levels of sand to deliver better abrasion resistance. Form and pour are ideal for aggregate volume repair.
- Surface preparation
Sometimes when you choose more than one repair mortar, one proper way to the success of concrete repair is proper surface preparation. All rickety concrete must be eliminated. While preparing a proper surface, simple configurations are ideal—square cut corners help in easy load transfer. Avoid the inside corners. It is advisable to keep the depth of the area uniform. And especially in the area that will have a huge traffic, avoid feather edging.
When there are cracks in the concrete, it usually exhibits movement. Stuffing a dynamic or a moving crack with a robust repair mortar will eventually result in the area re-cracking. The movement of the concrete must be put to a halt or it must be relieved through a control joint for effective crack management. With the help of epoxy, the cracks can be welded together. But, if it fails to stop the movement or install the control joints, it will lead to reappearing of the cracks too.
SSD or Surface Saturated Dry is one of the substrates required by most of the concrete repair materials. Before putting up a cement-based repair mortar, ensure to saturate the substrate with water. But, eliminate the puddling or standing water to keep the material-water-cement ratio in place.
Another aspect to focus on is the placement of the bond coat. Before the final placement, apply a small amount of mixed mortar to the saturated area and scrub it with a stiff brush. Do not add any extra water or liquid on the scrub coat. It will add more to the water-to-cement ratio, hence, creating a weak bond line at the repair.
While the scrub coat is still immersed in moisture, install the repair mortar right away. Check it with the datasheet of the product for appropriate mixing instruction, requirements for installation, instructions for special applications, finishing methods or curing procedures.