Concrete Crack Repair Made Easy
Concrete crack repair can be a time-consuming task for any contractor. Not only must you rip up all the ruined concrete, you also have to put in large pieces of new material, and then set it in place. Small hairline concrete cracks (typically smaller than a nickel’s width) typically require only a small amount of siliconeized industrial calcium carbonate caulk and fast, quick scrape with an putty knife! (Albeit, do not apply siliconeized industrial calcium carbonate caulk directly to concrete as it does not bond very strongly to the concrete.)
Concrete cracks, whether they are small or large, often occur after years of heavy use. Eventually, especially if the area is used day after day, the stresses of traffic, handling and weathering damage the aggregate layer, which creates a brittle, textured surface. Other times, cracks occur in areas where the water table is too low, or when the area is wet during cold seasons. When this happens, small concrete cracks quickly grow into larger cracks, sometimes referred to as’spalls’, and then into large cracks that create a water ingress, or ‘bleachout’.
Concrete spalls are very expensive to repair. Often, if the crack is not fixed immediately, the spall may expand enough to break through a layer of caulk, creating a new leaky hole. In addition, since cracks are at the base of the wall, they usually end up forcing a structural change that shifts the position of adjoining walls, and adds tension to roofing system integrity. In these situations, it is often better to use a quick set patch mix instead of waiting for the cracks to grow and then dealing with them.
The quick set epoxy concrete crack repair consists of a specially formulated mixture that seals the crack while adding epoxy resistance to the surrounding area. This epoxy coating will prevent water from seeping in, and it can be cleaned easily. Epoxy can also help with other types of concrete repairs including those in which the concrete crack repairs have started to develop spalls. If an expansion has started near a crack, the epoxy will slow the growth of the hole, and will allow enough time for the crack to shrink before it can be repaired.
In cases where the problem is hairline cracks in concrete, instead of trying to solve them with quick application of an epoxy, they can always be filled with a siliconeized acrylic latex (SAL) repair paste. In order to apply the paste, a thick spray bottle is needed. Since this concrete repairs involve a higher concentration of cement, a plastic liner should be applied to the affected area. It will provide a friction-reducing layer, as well as a seal to keep water out. The siliconeized acrylic latex will be cured after several hours using a rotary type of sprayer. In order to complete the hairline cracks, a rotary hammer will be used to gently tap the sides of the crack until it becomes smooth.
In cases where concrete repairs are more complex, epoxy and siliconeized ACL are combined in order to form a thicker, cured repair paste. This paste is applied over the affected area, and then it is left to dry overnight. The following day, it is sprayed with another coat of silicone. The entire process can take up to three days in total, but because of how long it takes to cure, it costs less than traditional epoxy or clay applied repairs. Epoxy and silicone coatings are also very useful for repairs on driveways, walkways, and basements. Since they bond better to the structure, the coating can protect it from moisture, heat, and most importantly – damage.