If you find cracks in a concrete commercial structure you own, you're likely to feel concerned about the situation. Cracks in concrete look unattractive, can pose a potential trip hazard if they are in a floor, and can cause people using the structure to wonder if the building is safe. In some cases, cracks can indicate serious underlying problems. At Texas Strengthening Technologies, repairing concrete is our specialty.
However, cracks developing in concrete are primarily an aesthetic issue in other situations. Many types of cracks in concrete structures can be successfully and economically repaired using various epoxy products. However, it's crucial to evaluate the problem thoroughly and perform the repair work with meticulous care.
Reasons to Repair Cracks in Concrete
Besides being unattractive, cracked concrete can also lead to more substantial damage to the concrete structure over time. For example, a crack can let water into the interior of a concrete beam, slab, or post, resulting in corrosion of the steel inside and reducing the component's strength.
Ongoing water intrusion can also diminish the integrity of concrete through erosion. Repairing cracks in concrete can reduce the possibility of further damage and more expensive repair costs down the line.
Concrete Cracks Suitable for Epoxy Repair
Not all cracks in concrete can be repaired successfully by injecting epoxy products. The application of epoxy does not make the existing concrete stronger, so if there is other structural damage to the building, putting epoxy in cracks will not help. In addition, if water is actively moving through cracks in concrete, epoxy might not be a good option.
Large cracks caused by ongoing foundation settlement also cannot be fixed with epoxy treatments. In these cases, the cause of the cracking must first be addressed before using epoxy to repair the damage. The first step in fixing cracked concrete is to determine the cause of the cracking and then decide if epoxy alone can solve the problem or if other work needs to be done first.
Preparing Concrete for Epoxy Repair
In situations where water is actively seeping through a cracked concrete structure, water flow must first be stopped at the source. In other circumstances, if the concrete has paint or a sealant applied to it, these materials must first be stripped away, or epoxy products won't adhere and fix the problem.
Depending on the size of the crack, it's also often necessary to grind out a V-shaped groove over the damaged area to get a good bond between the epoxy and the concrete. Additionally, the surface must be cleaned thoroughly using compressed air or a strong jet of water and then dried to remove dust, grime, or other materials before applying or injecting the epoxy product.
Types of Epoxy for Concrete Repair
A wide range of epoxy products are available, and which one is best depends on the size and location of the crack. Some products are specially formulated for hairline cracks and others for injecting into medium-sized fissures.
Other products are designed for packing into large holes, and a variety of fittings, injection ports, and similar tools assist in getting the epoxy to penetrate the opening entirely. Choosing the correct epoxy product and application method is crucial for a successful repair.
Getting Help with Concrete Epoxy Repairs
Repairing cracks in concrete with epoxy is not as simple as it might sound. It's crucial first to fix the cause of the cracking if there is an underlying structural problem and then properly perform the repair to the crack or fissure using the right product. For these reasons, fixing cracks and structural damage to your commercial concrete building is a job best left to professionals specializing in this type of repair work, such as Texas Strengthening Technologies.
We specialize in all types of concrete repair, including epoxy repairs. We can evaluate your building for the most suitable kind of repair and then get the job done for you as efficiently and economically as possible. In addition, Texas Strengthening Technologies travels all over the continental United States to perform this type of work.