Concrete Repair – How to Prevent Concrete Surface Defects

Concrete Repair Charles Town WV is a complex task requiring intelligent evaluation of the cause and severity of the problem. Pinging the concrete surface with a hammer should reveal delaminated areas that do not return a complex ring sound.Concrete Repair

A standard repair procedure should be established for assessing and classifying major and minor defects. Then, the appropriate repair method can be determined.

Concrete surface cracks can be unsightly and lead to many problems. They can cause safety issues, water penetration, and pest infestations. Proper maintenance of concrete surfaces can prevent these issues from arising and allow them to be repaired before they become major problems.

The first step in repairing cracked concrete is to evaluate the situation and determine what caused the cracking. This can be accomplished by conducting an inspection of the concrete. A good inspection includes a thorough visual examination, a hammer test (which is done by pinging the surface of the concrete) and a test for delamination by spraying the concrete with paint to see which areas don’t respond to a hard pound.

If the cracks were caused by expansion and contraction of the concrete or if they were caused by poor-quality or low-strength concrete, it is necessary to correct the problem in order to prevent further cracking. Adding control joints or expansion joints can help to prevent cracking by providing a place for the concrete to move without cracking. If the concrete was poured at an inappropriate strength, it is also necessary to strengthen it.

Once the concrete cracks are evaluated and understood, they can be filled and sealed. Concrete repair materials must be selected carefully for each type of crack. It is important to select a material that will bind to the existing concrete and has a lower shrinkage rate than the concrete in which it is being placed.

It is possible to repair concrete cracks with hydraulic cement, which can be pumped into the crack and can be cured in place. Epoxy injections are another method of filling cracks in concrete and can be done from the top or bottom of the structure. The concrete must be dry and clean in order to use this method.

A sealant is often used to protect the concrete from moisture and chemicals. There are a variety of sealants available, including epoxies, acrylics and polyurethanes. Choosing the right product will depend on the environment in which the concrete is located, the budget and the level of protection desired.

Surface Defects

Concrete surface defects can range from minor blemishes to structural problems that compromise the integrity of concrete. They may be caused by improper mixing, finishing, or curing procedures, extreme temperatures, and moisture. While it’s impossible to prevent all types of defects, there are steps that can be taken to minimize their occurrence.

Cracking is one of the most common problems encountered in concrete surfaces. These cracks are typically shallow and run parallel to the surface. They are usually caused by a combination of factors, including freezing temperatures and exposure to chemicals.

Blistering is another common surface defect in concrete. These are small, round bumps that appear on the surface of concrete. They are caused by the entrapment of air bubbles in the concrete due to excessive form oil or over-sanded mixes. They are also triggered by high temperatures and rapid evaporation of water from the concrete surface.

Scaling is a type of discoloration that appears on the surface of concrete. It is often caused by freeze-thaw cycles and can result in the loss of aggregate from the concrete surface. Scaling can be prevented by using a low-pressure water spray during the concrete placing process and by properly curing the concrete after it is poured.

Spalling is the most serious of all surface defects in concrete. This is when the top layer of concrete begins to break away from the rest of the slab. It is similar to scaling, except that larger chunks of concrete break loose from the surface. This is a sign that the upper layer of concrete has weakened under the influence of moisture and freezing temperatures.

Stained concrete is another common problem that occurs when the concrete becomes discolored due to mineral or chemical exposure. This can be difficult to prevent, but steps can be taken to minimize the appearance of stained concrete, such as covering it with plastic sheeting during construction and using low-sulfur cement for concreting.

Other types of surface defects in concrete include sand streaking on the formed surface and dusting on the finished surface. This can be caused by over-troweling with a hand float or trowel and by the use of excessive amounts of water on the surface during finishing.

Expansion Joints

These concrete-filled gaps allow a slab to move with changes in temperature and stress without cracking the surrounding structure. They can also deflect shifts in live load (the weight of people, vehicles, equipment, and materials that are pushed across the floor). When they become damaged, they stop working properly and can create an unsafe surface for traffic to travel over.

Concrete expansion joints are a key component of any concrete structure, but many property owners choose to ignore them. Often, they fail to caulk and seal them effectively. This is a mistake that leads to water penetration, which can cause freeze-thaw damage and erode the sub-material.

To prevent this, it is important to repair concrete expansion joints regularly. In addition, the expansion joints should be kept clean and free of weeds. The roots of these plants can penetrate the pores of the concrete and cause it to deteriorate.

When it comes to expanding joints, there are several different types of materials that can be used to repair them. One option is to use strip seals, which are flexible neoprene membranes that adhere to the joint walls. These are an inexpensive option, but they can tear and disjoin under heavy traffic if incompressible debris settles on top of them. A better choice is a compression seal, which uses a series of cellular or cork-like webs to provide outward pressure against the joint walls. This type of material is easy to install and has a much longer life expectancy than a strip seal.

Another good option is an asphalt expansion joint, which can withstand petroleum spills and harsh chemicals. It is a good choice for outdoor and high-humidity environments.

While using wood to fill expansion joints was once popular, it is no longer a good practice. Like concrete, wood expands and contracts with moisture and temperature fluctuations. It also rots over time.

It is best to use a commercial-grade caulking material, such as Sikaflex 45 SSL or 116, to seal expansion joints. These products contain a thicker formula that doesn’t sag and is long-lasting. It is also important to use backer rod to support the caulk and ensure it is applied at the correct depth. After applying the caulking, it should be smoothed manually with a tool to create an attractive finish.


The foundation of your home is a solid structure that helps support the weight of your house and keep it standing. But like all concrete, if it experiences too much stress or pressure, the foundation may start to sink. This can cause a number of problems throughout your home such as cracked walls and floors, leaky basements, sticky doors, and uneven settling of the house.

If you notice any of these issues, it is important to contact a professional to evaluate your foundation for concrete repair. A professional contractor will know how to fix the problem depending on your soil type, climate, and foundation build.

Cracks in Basement Floors

Long, horizontal cracks in the basement floor are a sure sign that your foundation needs repair. It is important to have your foundation repaired before the cracks extend into your home, where they can damage the drywall and other parts of your home.

Hairline Cracks

Hairline or fine cracks are a common occurrence in a concrete foundation and are not always a sign of a failing foundation. This type of crack is usually the result of expansion and contraction of the concrete caused by changes in moisture levels.

Concrete Block Walls

Masonry block walls are a good alternative to a poured concrete foundation. They are less likely to deteriorate and are easier to repair than poured concrete.

Moisture Levels

The amount of moisture in the soil around your foundation can affect how well it stands up to weather and climate changes. The more moisture in the soil, the more it will expand and contract, which can lead to foundation movement and failure.

A contractor can install a pier system underneath your foundation to prevent sinking and settlement. These helical piers are long, thin steel shafts that look like parts of a giant screw. The piers are driven into the ground vertically until they reach a layer of rock and soil beneath your foundation that can bear the weight of your building. Once the piers are installed, crews hydraulically raise your foundation to rest on them.