Concrete has been around since Roman times – it was used in the construction of buildings, monuments, roads and bridges, and the way it was made has enabled it to survive to this day.
Modern concrete is a fantastic building material. It can be used for a variety of purposes and is durable, fire resistant and strong, especially when reinforced by heavy-duty materials such as steel. In fact, it’s used more than any other artificial material in the world.
However, concrete can be damaged by a number of external forces, including expansion and contraction in the heat and cold, corrosion due to other materials such as reinforcement bars, bacterial corrosion, chemical damage and water erosion.
Much of the time, concrete damage occurs around flexible jointings such as expansion joints and movement joints. If the joints begin to fail, the concrete around them will start to break up.
Don’t fill in the cracks
If you find cracks or small holes in concrete, the temptation is to use more concrete or cement to fill them in, but this is not the right way to make the repair. You will actually be making things worse. Firstly, it’s likely that the concrete mix aggregate will be too large to fit into narrow cracks, so all you’re effectively doing is papering over the crack. Secondly, concrete shrinks as it dries, and this will leave enough room for moisture to seep in. In the cold weather, the water in the crack turns to ice and expands, and the crack becomes larger.
There are a number of resins and epoxy products that can be used for the effective repair of concrete damage and around flexible jointing. These products are flexible enough to expand and contract without causing further damage to the concrete and, prepared and applied properly, can last for years.
If you have an area of concrete you are worried about, please contact us to discuss the repair options and get a free quote.