Before you can repair concrete, you have to know what caused the problem in the first place. Here is advice on troubleshooting the damage and coming up with the best concrete repair solution.
I took away a good lesson-one that I soon found applied to just about any repair work. Before you can repair anything you have to know what caused the problem in the first place and you have to understand how it is supposed to work. Only then can you make an intelligent decision on how to do the repair.
With any concrete repair, take that lesson to heart and you're off to a great start. First figure out what caused the damage, do the necessary preparation of removing any unsound concrete and contamination, then install a repair designed to solve the problem. The worst thing you can do is make a repair that doesn't last. Someone once told me that over 50% of concrete repairs fail again within two years. That is not a track record that inspires confidence.
So let's start by evaluating the problem and then we can decide how we are going to make a durable repair. This article is only a very superficial treatment of this subject. For more details, the best source is either the International Concrete Repair Institute or the American Concrete Institute. ICRI, in conjunction with ACI, publishes the Concrete Repair Manual which is over 2000 pages long.
Author Bill Palmer, ConcreteNetwork.com Columnist