South Florida poses unique challenges to concrete. Climate variables such as water seepage, salt corrosion, structural damage, are factors that greatly impact properties. Understanding concrete damage and repair is important for any South Florida property owner. Here at G. Batista Engineering & Construction, concrete repair is something we are experts at. Here is some information to help keep you informed.

What is concrete repair?

Concrete repair is the process of fixing a solid concrete surface that over the long-run has lost the capacity to hold the binding concrete materials together, due to structural damage or extreme weather conditions.

Why is concrete repair so important?

When concrete starts to crack or spall it begins to debilitate and weaken. This is often due to physical impacts and prolonged climate changes that can create permanent damage to the structure.

What are some of the reasons concrete could need repair?

There are many reasons why concrete can be in need of repair. Here are the top 4.

1. Chemical Factor

Exposure of concrete to chemical agents can harm concrete structures such as organic substances, salts, or acids which can cause chemical reactions like corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete. Other chemicals that cause concrete degradation are:

  • Seawater (exposing cement to seawater can have corrosive effects).
  • Chlorides (particularly calcium chloride).
  • Leaching (water flows through cracks in cement, dissolving minerals that hardened the cement).
  • Aggression sulfate (when sulfate in concrete cement comes in contact with cement causing chemical changes to the chemical binder).

2. Physical Factor

The physical factors of concrete damage include changes in temperature, heat, wind, humidity, which can result in erosion. Concrete walls, pipes, and slabs are susceptible to damage during ground settlement and earthquakes. It can also be caused by expansion and contraction during extreme temperatures.

3. Biological Factor

Biological factors include exposure of the building structure to bacterial agents, such as algae, fungi, moss, etc.

4. Design Factor

Faulty design when building the cement structure can generate many long-term problems creating damage to the cement. Damage caused by human errors or climatic causes can show the same type of deterioration or impact. It should be emphasized that it is difficult to distinguish the types of concrete damage right off the bat. It is best to consult with an experienced Concrete/Structural Engineer.

Looking for a contract engineer in South Florida? We can help. Just Ask G. Batista

What are some of the reasons concrete could need repair?

Much of the damage generated in concrete structures could lead to accidents if they are not repaired in time. Especially in work areas with a lot of human traffic where people could fall or injure themselves. In this case, property owners are liable and susceptible to lawsuits.

Types Of Concrete Repair

Concrete repair is the process of restoring concrete so it returns to having structural functionality, coating, and support for which it was designed. Protecting concrete surfaces from external agents are also measures that are taken to help make it more resistant and durable.

Some of the most common types of concrete repairs are described below:

1. Concrete Protection

Specialized materials are used to prevent damage to concrete due to environmental agents.
The specialized materials help to protect and preserve concrete. This includes coatings and sealants that fulfill the function of creating a protective layer of concrete which acts as a membrane and absorbent layer for damage or wear on the external surface and ultimately extends its useful life. Coatings usually require preventive maintenance such as applying new layers each time they show wear to avoid the total deterioration of the concrete surfaces.

2. Structure reinforcement

Structure reinforcement is carried out when it is necessary to increase the load capacity of the structural element. This is usually done using concrete and concrete reinforcing steel or carbon fibers to increase this reinforcement. Carbon fiber canvases are added to the concrete structure allowing the structure to take on the additional weight and create excessive volume. This is done under certain parameters or standards that are calculated.

3. Waterproofing

Concrete is a material that can present cracks as it is porous in its composition. Water could penetrate through these cracks affecting the appearance of the concrete structure and the steel reinforcement it may contain in the long term. This is why it is necessary to waterproof concrete. A wide variety of construction materials are used that have the necessary protection against water. This includes surface coatings, materials that act within the porous material of concrete to fortify it, and even concrete mix to apply to certain areas.

Deciding on the best repair approach requires expertise and a certified structural engineer to assist. Greg Batista is one of Florida’s most recognized, authoritative, and award-winning engineers and also contractor. Over his 30 years distinguished career, he has been both Engineer of Record and Contractor on thousands of jobs. Do you need a competent, experienced, and reliable guide? Just Ask G. Batista

Do you need help with Concrete Repair and Concrete Restoration? Looking to hire the right professional? Just Ask G. Batista (954) 434-2053