Anticipating and preventing concrete problems and knowing how to fix damaged concrete save time, energy, and money in the long run.
””‘Concrete disasters’ can be a relative term. If you are a homeowner, a pouring mistake or uneven curing is not a highly detrimental problem. However, if something during a bigger job goes wrong, anything from the subgrade being improperly prepared to a cold snap moving in during the curing process, then worse things can happen. A true concrete disaster could include injuries, lawsuits, property damage, contract breaches, and expensive repairs.
It helps to prepare as much as possible, including being familiar with the concrete product you are working with and the soil conditions where the work is taking place.
Likewise, if you’re tasked with trying to salvage a job that is already going south, you can sometimes find ways to minimize the damage, or in some cases, make things worse. A good concrete supplier like Razorback Concrete can also offer their expertise regarding how to fix damaged concrete.
Here are some common concrete problems and ways to solve them:
Generally the highest risk from colder weather happens right when a concrete batch is freshly poured. Moisture can freeze and reduce its overall strength, sometimes as much as 50%. Damage potential is high within the first 24 hours, being most critical during the first couple of hours. One possible remedy to improve or preserve its strength at these early stages is to keep the area warm, which can sometimes be as simple as covering the entire pour area with insulating blankets or tents.
Even if the poured concrete makes it through this crucial time frame without harm, it could still face damage after going through a winter freeze and spring thaw cycle. Depending on Arkansas weather patterns, there could be several episodes of ice, snow, rain, and freezing ground, followed by a period of warming that varies from year to year. This could cause heaves from frost, or scaling, which is when the concrete starts to flake away.
One way to solve this is to pre-empt it, such as working with your concrete supplier for a colder-weather mix which can set quickly. Or you can require the use of curing compounds or sealing chemicals which will help its integrity to avoid cracking. A big caution here is to avoid using common de-icers on your concrete when it gets cold. Although it does reduce surface ice, over time the chemicals can move into the mixture and damage your concrete.
Heavy use and general wear-and-tear can damage a concrete surface over time, and uneven use can cause even more harm. Cars on a roadway are heavy enough, but 18-wheeler trucks with their heavy loads can cause much more damage to the road surface if the proper design is not utilized.
The way to fix damaged concrete can involve an epoxy sealer, or adding extra hard aggregate in the original mixture. You can even consider hard troweling and adding a chemical hardener, which are all items that suppliers would be happy to offer.
Overall, the best way to avoid potential concrete problems is to start off with a quality concrete product you can trust. For any type of concrete project in Arkansas, you can trust the product delivered by Razorback Concrete Company. Call us at 870-455-0700 to get your project started today or send us a message if you have any concrete-specific questions.