Three common concrete problems & how to fix them
Concrete is amongst the most widely used material on the planet. This popularity can be credited to its sturdiness and versatility. Another advantage of using concrete is that it is an easy material to manage. Having that said, there are various problems that can arise and ruin aesthetics or worse, reduce the structure’s sturdiness and longevity. Identifying these problems early on and responding accordingly is key.
Here are three of the most common concrete problems and the ways to tackle them:
Cracking cannot be prevented, but it can be controlled. This is caused due to thermal contraction, excessive applied load, drying shrinkage or subgrade settlement. If cracks are ignored and they manage to pierce the subgrade, the damage cannot be repaired and you have to replace the entire concrete structure to restore its appearance and strength.
The best way to deal with cracking is to curb its growth when it’s newly formed. This can easily be done by cleaning the loose material from the crack and filling the empty space with concrete filler. After the patch cures, apply a sealant to the surface to curb condensation and enhance the strength of the structure.
The discoloration is due to the inconsistency of color or hue on the concrete’s surface. This happens due to change in the concrete mix, weather conditions, improper installation techniques or stains from automobile fluids or other chemicals. It is important that you address this issue at the earliest or discoloration might end up ruining the aesthetics of the structure.
The simplest method to solve this issue is to repeatedly clean the surface with hot water. If this doesn’t work, you can scrub the surface with a diluted vinegar solution. In severe cases, you can use a diluted solution of hydrochloric, acetic or phosphoric acid to restore aesthetics.
Scaling refers to the condition when parts of the concrete start to peel off from the surface. This is caused due to water seepage, exposure to thawing, poor concrete finishing, etc.
To solve this problem, you will have to build a fresh layer of resurfacing concrete. This is not as easy as it seems because you will have to roughen up the entire concrete surface to prepare it for the repair. After the new layer is applied and cured properly, finish the repair process by applying a waterproof finishing treatment. This will strengthen the surface, thereby protecting it from any damage in the future.
While these solutions are ideal to tackle the respective problems, the best way out is to solve the problem at the crux by using only the best quality cement to make a strong and durable concrete mixture. Emami Double Bull Cement, one of the top cement companies in India, manufactures a range of high-quality, all-weather products that are seepage-resistant and durable. It pays to go for high-quality products while building a structure to avoid issues like those listed above, in the long run.