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The Basics of Concrete Repair

Engineers have learned to make buildings safer in recent decades after years of studying what happens to structures during earthquakes. Concrete is a durable choice, but concrete tilt-up buildings built in the last century pose safety risks. Over time, concrete can crack, so it’s important to have it inspected periodically to reduce maintenance costs and decrease structural risks during an earthquake. Here are essential points to keep in mind when it comes to concrete repair.

Working Only With Concrete Specialists

Concrete is a popular building material due to its strength, durability and sustainability qualities, as it can be easily recycled. The material is more fire resistant than steel. Ultimately, concrete stands up well in high winds and the most severe environmental disasters. Despite the fact that concrete can last for decades, you may occasionally need to seal cracks.

When you need concrete repair work done, you should only work with contractors that have experience with concrete. Working with certified professionals that follow manufacturer installation instructions will protect warranty and insurance protections that you have on your structure. Catching cracks early is crucial to reducing damage, as cracks can spread over time.

Conducting a seismic retrofit on a concrete tilt-up structure often requires connectors for reinforcement, such as roof to wall anchors and continuity ties. These strategies will help prevent the roof from collapsing during an earthquake.

Understanding Concrete 

The key to understanding concrete repair work is that it can be categorized in multiple groups: resealing, partial removal, full-depth removal and special repairs. Every building owner should be aware of the importance of detecting cracks in concrete. The safety of building occupants and structural stability should be top concerns. Furthermore, it’s important to keep a building up to code to avoid fines.

Concrete is made of rocky materials such as limestone and granite, known as aggregate, mixed with water and sand. The materials determine the strength of the concrete. Reinforcements to concrete such as steel bars or steel fibers help prevent concrete from cracking. Additives such as calcium chloride, calcium nitrate and sodium nitrate are commonly mixed in to speed up hardening.

Other chemicals are mixed in to optimize the concrete, such as corrosion inhibitors. A variety of equipment can be used for concrete processing, but the mix must be made according to the project’s specifications. During the curing process, the concrete is kept moist to give it more strength. Curing must be done properly to avoid cracking. The hydration and hardening process lasts three days.

The quality of concrete is directly affected by weather conditions, as extreme cold or hot temperatures can cause adverse effects. It’s imperative to protect concrete from freezing in the winter. All of this must be factored in during a repair in order to ensure longevity and durability.

Conclusion

When you need concrete repair, you should turn to experienced contractors that have specialty experience in concrete buildings. Contact Saunders Commercial Seismic Retrofit to learn more about our services.

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