Concrete is one of the most durable, and affordable, construction materials out there. That’s a big reason why so many people utilize concrete in their home projects. Whether that’s creating a concrete driveway, putting down a concrete floor in the garage or using concrete as a foundation for a new structure. People are very good at deciding where to use concrete, but more people struggle to understand when it’s time to repair concrete, or when one should just replace it.
In the past, most people just replaced concrete whenever it looked like concrete needed to be repaired. That’s because even as recently as a decade ago, the methodology behind repairing concrete was expensive, and often ineffective. That is no longer the case.
New technology has made it so that repairing concrete is actually a viable choice. Repair products are now faster drying, stronger and considerably more durable than the repair products of the past.
The most important question that needs to be answered when deciding whether to repair or replace is how will repairing affect the integrity of the concrete. If a repair is going to make that concrete structure considerably less durable, it’s probably a good idea just to completely replace it. The last thing you want is a concrete structure to completely collapse right after a repair.
The truth of the matter is that you can’t repair concrete forever. Concrete always wears out eventually. Natural elements are a big cause of this. That’s why people who live in the north tend to need to spend more time and money on the upkeep of their concrete. Up north, concrete is exposed to wind, snow and major temperature swings far more often than those who live in a more stable climate like what we find in the southern United States.
A general rule of thumb to follow is if the concrete needs more than two inches of material to repair, it’s probably a good idea to just replace the concrete altogether. The extent of the damage is not the only factor that needs to be considered though. How long can your concrete be out of commission for? If you’re repairing your driveway, you might not want to weight for a repair agent to dry for a few days.
Clearance is another issue. Often when concrete is repaired an entirely new layer has to be put down. Will that new layer make the concrete too tall? If that’s the case it might be best to just start from square one.
The new technology in concrete repair makes fixing concrete a viable option, but it’s still important to consider all of your options before making a decision. Sometimes completely replacing the concrete is the cheapest option.
As always, whenever you are working with concrete it’s a good idea to consult with a professional. A good concrete company will tell you exactly what you need, and what the trade offs are if you are deciding whether to repair or replace. We encourage you to reach out to Razorback Concrete for all of your concrete needs and questions. Visit www.razorbackconcrete.com to learn more.