The structural use of concrete has passed the test of time; however, even when mixed and installed correctly, with time, damage will occur that may require repair. The most common reasons for these damages are weather, thaw cycles, earth movements, wear and tear, and poor installation.
As a consumer, you cannot prevent the first four reasons. But for poor installation, here are some good questions to ask your contractor:
What is the strength of my concrete mix?
The reason for asking this question is to determine if the strength of the concrete will be able to withstand the traffic it will be used for.
When installing a project of my size, how many control joints will be installed and where will they be installed?
This is a good question because your concrete is going to crack; but we want to control where it cracks to keep it structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Typically control joints will be placed anywhere between 2 to 3 times (in feet) the slab thickness. In depth, they will be cut ¼ of the way through the slab.
Spalling, cracks, major and minor pot holes, joint reconstruction – these are just some of the concrete repairs we provide. What sets us apart from other concrete companies, when it comes to these repairs, are the types of materials used and our preparation. When it comes to materials, we prefer to use products that create a chemical bond with your existing concrete instead of using products that just act as a filler.
In our preparation, we always prefer mechanically etching the problem areas as opposed to chemically etching, followed by pressure washing these areas. With a mechanical etch, we ensure that the area is clean; and that we have created the proper profile without jeopardizing the integrity of the concrete to which we will bond. When chemically etching porous concrete (all concrete is porous) the integrity of the concrete has been jeopardized because the etching agent will soak into the concrete, just as water into a sponge; and there will be no way of removing the chemical from the concrete with just the use of a pressure washer. In this case, a neutralizing agent must be used.