Concrete Repair Tampa
Some homeowners may be thinking that there’s something wrong with their concrete structures. Before even thinking of repairing or fixing anything, it is only natural to first find out what caused the damage in the first place. This not only applies in concrete but upon fixing anything. Anyone aiming to fix anything should first understand how it works. Only then can you make an intelligent decision on how to do the repair.
It may be best to instead of trying to memorize the procedure, try to grasp and take the lesson to heart. If you want to avoid any further unnecessary mistakes or damages, it is advised to contact concrete contractors professionals in Tampa Fl. If you are eager to learn some things then feel free to try it out yourself. But be warned that mistakes will naturally occur, especially if this is your first few time doing this kind of work.
One of the first steps would be to figure out what caused the damage. To condition the site, you must first remove any unstable, unsound concrete and contamination. It is only then that you install a repair designed to solve the problem. In most cases, if you are careful enough, the only worst that could happen is that the repair doesn’t last long enough compared to the average work of an expert.
Assessing The Concrete For Your Tampa Property
When concrete is in perfect condition, we would rarely, if not never even assess or evaluate it. We typically only check the concrete if we notice some kind of damage. And so, what do we look for when assessing concrete for any damage? For most concrete structures, the damage could either be structural or superficial.
If there is large damage, let’s say a huge crack in the base or pillar of the structure, it is best to call a professional. This structural work is best handled by those that have actual knowledge of it. If you notice some structural problems in other places, you should also take note or document them and immediately contact the owner because you may take some responsibility if there was a failure and you didn’t take some action.
It could be dangerous if the structure seems to possibly collapse but if it is not yet that dangerous, then you may first observe it and visually evaluate it. There are plenty of things that can be determined even with simple visual evaluation such as is the damage local or widespread? Is it superficial or does the damage go deeper in the concrete? Are the cracks still moving? Is there any information on the original structure? Simple things such as that.
If you are dealing with your own property, then some tools that could be used to assess your concrete structures is a hammer, tape measure, and some paint. The hammer will be used by pinging the concrete surface which may then reveal delaminated areas. This can then be marked with the paint. Delaminated areas send back a dull hollow sound instead of the hard ringing of sound concrete. You may use the tape measure to determine the extent in need of the repairs.
If the amount of information is still unsatisfactory, then you may resort to some destructive and nondestructive evaluation techniques. Take note that it is best to document any procedures you do by taking photos or videos to make things easier.
The destructive evaluation technique starts with breaking away any damaged concrete to determine how deep the damage goes. You can then proceed to drill core samples for analysis in the lab or by a petrographer. The non-destructive evaluation technique on the other hand includes a radar, infrared thermography, and impact-echo, and can reveal a lot without having to open up the concrete.
How Does Concrete Get Damaged In Tampa?
After having the concrete structure evaluated, the next step would be to determine what caused the damage. You may already be familiar with this step, also known as troubleshooting. Concrete, in particular, is strong in compression and weak in tension. This means that if an unplanned crack were ever to appear, the concrete is in tension. You should also note that the crack is always perpendicular to the direction of the tension.
Think of a typical shrinkage crack running diagonally from a re-entrant corner in a concrete slab. The concrete was shrinking back in each direction from the corner and that diagonal crack is perpendicular to the direction of shrinkage. You may observe the diagonal crack across the corner of a slab panel where it was run over by heavy traffic or the subbase was poorly compacted. For better understanding, let us give you some examples of concrete problems and why they appear.
The first is drying shrinkage. In most cases of concrete, there’s usually more moisture in it when placed than there is consumed by the hydration reaction. The concrete shrinks about 0.15 inches over 20 feet while the water evaporates. This would all depend on how wet the concrete was from the start.
Holding up a slab in the air while it shrinks, probably wouldn’t make it crack, but since it is on the ground it drags on the subgrade and the shrinkage is restrained and cracks form. It is also natural for professionals or anyone working on concrete to create joints that can control concrete’s drying shrinkage cracks. These joints are also able to let us decide where the planned cracks will form.
Corrosion of the reinforcing steel is when the steel rebar is protected inside the concrete because the concrete is very alkaline, this then allows it to prevent rust. There are also some circumstances in which chloride ions are existent in the mix, which makes the chloride destroy the “passivating layer” of alkalinity around the steel, allowing it to rust. One such example of this is deicing salts.
Do note that rust has a greater volume than steel. The expansion also presses against the concrete putting it in tension and thus, resulting in it cracking and popping off. Cracks are the causes of chlorides sipping into concrete since they simply penetrate through the concrete’s pore structure.
Cracks can also be the result fro structural loads. Typically, the steel reinforcement is still completely useless until a crack appears on the concrete. The crack from the concrete may be however wide or shallow. Even if it may be invisible, the steel doesn’t start getting pulled to hold the concrete together until the concrete cracks.
Naturally, the cracks would become wider when there is no steel, not enough steel, or the loads are too heavy during construction or while doing its service. These cracks may not be much of a deal if they are just on the ground, but it’s a much more serious problem if these cracks appear in walls or pillars. Cracks on either one of those would be hazardous and may signal to be a structural problem.
There could be a pattern of cracks that appear on the surface of the concrete when it is placed and the surface is allowed to dry out before the concrete has gained strength. This phenomenon is typically known as crazing and is associated with plastic shrinkage. The cracks that appear may be more relatively narrow and shallow.
These cracks would barely be much of a problem in terms of fulfilling its service, but these can be a major problem for aesthetic and decorative structures. If this is the type of problem you are dealing with, the solution would be proper curing, although synthetic fiber reinforcement can reduce this phenomenon.
Another one is that concrete is porous, which means that if some water gets in the concrete and freezes, it would break off small flakes from the surface. This is often associated with freeze-thaw disintegration which is worse when it comes to deicing salts. Typically called scaling, this problem may occur during the first winter and get worse over time. More severe problems such as these may result in the complete destruction of the concrete structure. This can be avoided by simply providing proper air entertainment.
Premature or improper finishing and sealing the Tampa concrete surface and sealing in air and bleed water could potentially cause blisters on any bubbled concrete surfaces. Air-entrained concrete, as well as many heavy finishing equipment, are usually the most susceptible to these problems.
Repair Materials For Tampa Concrete
High-quality concrete is usually the best answer to all these concrete repair problems. But through many developments and advancements, many discovered excellent repair materials that include various polymers lead to higher bond strength and durability. There are many polymer-modified concrete materials that are used for repairs nowadays. This means that that the basic material is a portland cement and aggregate mixture with a polymer added, the polymer usually being latex.
There are many materials used in concrete repair today, therefore, it is usually entirely up to you to decide which ones to take. Here are some guides that you may want to consider when trying to choose a repair material:
- Something that most people would recommend to look for in a good repair material is very low shrinkage. The concrete matrix has already gone through its shrinkage, and therefore, if the repair material shrinks, it will debond and the repair will fail.
- You need to determine if you want to use a one-part material or are you willing to use a two-component material that could be more difficult to work with but have superior properties?
- There are many dimensional characteristics of repair material that you may want to consider, some of them being that drying shrinkage can debond a repair. If the repaired area will be under load, the elastic modulus should be similar. There are thermal coefficients, which are the rate at which the material expands or contracts with temperature, that should also usually be similar.
- A very important thing to identify is the initial intent for the repair material. Are you using it to try bonding a crack together or just to cover it up?
- Does the mortar need to stick to an overhead or vertical surface? Or can it be very flowable to pour into forms or cracks?
- In terms of speed, how fast do you want the repair to achieve its full strength?
- Is the bond strength a priority? Typically, the bond strength is very important. If the repair material doesn’t bond to the concrete matrix, the repair may be deemed a failure. Surface preparation is another major part of getting a good bond.
- Does the repair material need to allow water vapor transmission? Water vapor pressure from within the matrix of the concrete can create very high pressures-easily strong enough to debond many repair Tampa materials.
These aforementioned factors are only some of the factors for selecting the right material, naturally, this includes the costs. Many concrete companies offer some good repair materials. Although we can provide some guides for you to consider, it is ultimately up to you to figure out what characteristics you need in a repair material. It is also advisable for the homeowner to talk with the manufacturer and possibly consult their concrete contractor to get the best product for their application.
Methods Used For Concrete Repair
When everything has been organized, it is only appropriate to undertake fixing methods that are suitable for the identified problems. This not only correctly solves the problem, but also prevents it from occurring again in the future. If you are planning to do these concrete repairs yourself, it is recommended to acquire some extra helping hands from capable, experienced, or professional people to optimize the best results.
Do keep in mind that the methods used would vary depending on the size, as well as the type of problem you are dealing with. One of the methods to repair concrete would be a concrete replacement, which is required when one-half to one square foot areas or larger extend entirely through the concrete sections or where the depth of damaged concrete exceeds 6 inches. Normal concrete replacement methods should be done when these characteristics are met. The fixing should be more effective if tied in with the existing reinforcing steel or rebar.
Another one is to replace the unformed concrete. There are no special procedures whatsoever to use when replacing damaged or deteriorated areas of horizontal concrete slabs. This only involves those that are used in construction practices for the placement of new slabs. Old concrete can also be bonded with the fixing work using a bond coat made of equal amounts of sand and cement.
You would also need to consider that it should have the consistency of whipped cream and should also be applied at once ahead of concrete placement in order for it not to set or dry out. As mentioned earlier, latex is typically used here since its emulsions with portland cement and epoxy resins are also used as bonding coats.
The dry-pack method is usually and more commonly used on smaller holes and in newer concrete which has a depth equal to or greater than the surface diameter. It is best to look at the manufacturer’s instructions first, but the dry-pack mix normally consists of about 1-part portland cement as well as 2-1/2-parts sand to be mixed with water. It is best to add only enough water so to produce a mortar that will stick together. If the consistency you are aiming for is met, the mortar is ready to be packed into the hole using thin layers.