Concrete rehabilitation projects, whether they be for roads, pavements, or floors, are pertinent activities to prolong the use of such concrete works. Businesses and people demand for better services for public or publicly-used infrastructures. When searching for services in concrete rehab in Colorado, it is wise to consider some issues why rehabilitation is needed and solutions to solve these issues.
Concrete is versatile, durable, and economical. In America, around 260 million cubic meters of concrete is poured annually for roads, streets, buildings, houses, parking lots, walkways, and floors. But through time, use leads to depreciation, thus the need for repairs.
Repairs are sought due to several reasons. It could be due to some faulty design of a given structure. It could also be due to poor workmanship. The natural elements can also contribute to a structure’s weakening. Chemicals and the age of the material are common culprits, too. Repair is necessary but is never sufficient to guarantee a longer lifespan of a structure.
There are three common issues that cause structures to deteriorate and lose value. The action of chemical and physical forces on man-made structures is inevitable. Through time, these forces aid overuse, or lack thereof, in weakening the material:
When rain mixes with carbon dioxide, it creates carbonic acid. This acid settles on concrete combining with calcium hydroxide to form calcium carbonate. This is the carbonation process. Calcium carbonate can reduce the pH level of concrete, making it weaker and eventually exposing the steel the concrete protects.
Concrete weakens further when the steel it encases weakens, too. Especially with the effect of carbonation, steel corrodes. It only needs moisture, oxygen, and a given electrolyte for steel to corrode. An electrolyte is the last ingredient and the least bountiful. Yet it only needs de-icing salt to penetrate concrete for corrosion to finally occur.
Cracking is an eventual outcome in the state of concrete structures. Weather and environmental conditions as well as loads result in cracking. If the concrete dries up, shrinks, or contracts, cracks begin to appear. If concrete is placed poorly, or of low grade, or if it carries a heavy load, cracks occur. Cracking can be prevented easily compared to carbonation and corrosion.
The modes for repairing concrete structures are standard. But rehabilitation is often overlooked. Yet there are a number of solutions for effective rehabilitation.
1. Penetrating Sealers
Penetrating sealers, such as silanes and siloxanes, are used to protect concrete from water. By forming a barrier, it prevents liquid to enter. This reduces damage from carbonation and corrosion.
The ever-flexible epoxy offers low viscosity and high elasticity, perfect for bridging or filling gaps or cracks in concrete. It does not only protect the concrete from water; it also bonds the concrete.
3. Patching Mortars
When concrete starts to spall, patching mortars come in handy. Available patching mortars in the marketplace can be overwhelming as there are countless products to choose from. Consider products that are compatible with the application required.
Rehabilitating concrete must be as important as repairing them. Repairs can only go far. There are effective solutions to significantly reducing issues affecting concrete structures. With rehab work, improvements on usability and productivity are maintained, and the life of the material is prolonged.