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How to Repair Concrete Buildings

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There are many concrete structures around the world such as bridges, parking structures, buildings etc. While concrete is quite resilient, there is a certain deterioration that it is subjected to when coupled with extreme environmental conditions. It is very important to repair and keep up the maintenance of concrete buildings to make sure that no building failure occurs.

There are many ways of repairing concrete and you can find more information on sydneyconcreter.com.au. You need to select a reliable concreter to make sure that good quality concrete is used for the building. Otherwise, the quality of concrete can affect the performance of the building over time. Also, with poor workmanship, there can be many errors that can occur such as misplaced reinforcement. The steel reinforcement within the concrete is protected by the pH of the concrete. Concrete has an alkaline pH.  There is a process called carbonation where the alkalinity of concrete reduces and this reduced the protection it gives the reinforcement. There is  also the possibility of corrosion when it comes to the steel reinforcement in the concrete structure. When moisture comes into contact with this reinforcement, the oxidation that occurs can cause expansion of the metal that results in cracking of the concrete. Concrete can also get damaged by natural disasters such as earthquakes.

You need to understand the cause of the damage in the concrete before any method is devised for repair work. So the current condition of the concrete has to be evaluated and then repair methods needs to be evaluated to ensure their suitability. This is the stage where repair materials will be selected as well. When you are responding to a structure that is scheduled to be replaced in a few years, if the issue does not carry great risk, you can stick to spot repairs to ensure the operation of the building. You need to consider access to work areas and check the budget that is allocated to the project. The repair materials should be as close as possible to the existing concrete in terms of strength, elasticity, degree of thermal expansion etc.

There are cementitious and polymer materials that can be used. Cementitious materials will be able to match the existing properties of the concrete to a great degree. You can use conventional mortar to fill up cavities that have formed in the concrete. There is also fibre reinforced concrete which has polymer or metal fibres added to the normal concrete in order to improve resistance to plastic shrinkage. There is rapid setting cement as well that can be used in certain situations. Polymer concrete includes polymer bonding agents. There is polymer modified concrete as well. You will also need to factor in methods to protect the concrete. A common way of doing this is by applying protective elements to the surface such as penetrating sealers, high build coatings, surface sealers and membranes. There are also overlays that can be bonded to the concrete surface. You need to make sure there is proper surface preparation when it comes to repairing concrete.

Georgiana Lake
the authorGeorgiana Lake