Guide to Concrete Repair

Guide to Concrete Repair

Concrete repairs have occurred on Reclamation projects since the first construction concrete was placed in 1903. Unfortunately, even though the best available materials were used,


many repair failures have occurred during the 90 years since that first concrete construction. In evaluating the causes of these failures, it was learned that it is essential to consistently use a systematic approach to concrete repair. There are several such repair approaches or systems currently in use. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lists an excellent system in the first chapter of its manual, Evaluation and Repair of Concrete Structures (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1995).

Other organizations, such as the American Concrete Institute, the Portland Cement Association, the International Concrete Repair Institute, and private authors (Emmons, 1994) have also published excellent methodologies for concrete repair. This guide will not attempt to discuss or evaluate these systems for any particular set of field conditions.

Rather, the following seven-step repair system, which has been developed, used, and evaluated by Reclamation over an extended period of time, is presented. This methodology has been found suitable for repairing construction defects in newly constructed concrete as well as old concrete that has been damaged by long exposure and service under field conditions.

This system will be found most useful if followed in a numerically sequential, or step wise manner. Quite often, the first questions asked when the existence of deteriorated or damaged concrete becomes apparent are: “What should be used to repair this?” and “How much is this going to cost?”. These are not improper questions. However, they are questions asked at an improper time. Ultimately, these questions must be answered, but pursuing answers to these questions too early in the

Reclamation’s Concrete Repair System

  1. Determine the cause(s) of damage
  2. Evaluate the extent of damage
  3. Evaluate the need to repair
  4. Select the repair method
  5. Prepare the old concrete for repair
  6. Apply the repair method
  7. Cure the repair properly

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