Concrete Resurface & Repair Companies
Is the concrete around your home breaking down? Discover the importance of concrete repair and how to find a concrete contractor.
Concrete is among the top materials used for construction worldwide. It is preferred for its strength and resilience. That is why there are many items around your home that are probably made with concrete. For example, you may have concrete walkways, a concrete patio, or a concrete driveway. Each of those areas may seem strong and sturdy initially. Concrete is a very hard, strong substance. However, it still has the ability to break down over time. Therefore it requires maintenance and occasional repairs.
Cracked concrete might appear to only be a mild inconvenience in some areas. In others it can be a major safety hazard, such as when portions of concrete steps fall off or loosen. Even when cracks appear minor they can quickly get larger when left alone. That is why quickly calling a company to repair or resurface areas with cracked concrete is so important. Here are some tips for identifying when concrete repairs are necessary and choosing a concrete repair company.
What is Concrete Repair?
The term “concrete repair” refers to any process involving patching or resurfacing concrete areas for safety, structural, or aesthetic reasons. Concrete repair is performed on a regular basis around the world as concrete structures deteriorate. In the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation even publishes a manual on the importance of regular concrete repair to protect the infrastructure, heritage, and safety of the United States. Around your home, concrete repair is essential to keep your family and guests safe. It can also sometimes prevent soil erosion or other property damage.
Why Does Concrete Damage Happen?
Temperature change is a common cause of concrete damage. As concrete changes temperature, it expands and contracts. That can cause it to crack, especially if foreign materials work their way into it and are exposed to pressure during the contraction phase. There are also multiple other causes of concrete damage or failure, including:
General Wear Over Time
Lack of Maintenance or Improper Maintenance
Soil Erosion or Improper Soil Compaction
Physical Shifting, Such as Due to an Earthquake
Improper initial mixing is also a major cause of concrete damage. The rocks and various other materials in concrete are called aggregates. If the aggregates are not combined in the proper amounts, the mixture does not bind together well. Sometimes that is immediately noticeable. Other times the difference is too subtle to notice at the time of installation. However, it can cause concrete to chip or crack prematurely.
Common Concrete Repairs
There are several ways in which concrete can show wear requiring repair. The most obvious is cracking. Once a crack in concrete appears, it can quickly grow larger. It can also cause other cracks to form around it. That is why concrete crack repairs are best performed quickly as soon as you notice large cracks starting to form. Here are some other common types of concrete repairs:
The concrete may have stains that require removal. Stains can occur due to weather conditions or exposure to foreign materials, such as motor oil from a car. They can also occur when concrete is not properly cured during the installation process.
Experts may need to remove debris from a concrete area and repair related damage. Common types of debris include moss, grass, or weeds growing up from small cracks in the concrete. Quick debris removal is essential to prevent the expansion and multiplication of cracks.
A section of concrete may sag and require repair or replacement. Sagging often occurs in areas that receive a lot of annual rain because water causes soil erosion beneath concrete slabs. Sagging can also occur due to weight placed on the concrete over prolonged periods of time, such as vehicles on a driveway.
Basics of Concrete Repair and Troubleshooting
When troubleshooting potential concrete repairs on your property, there are a few factors to consider. First, you must keep in mind concrete always develops some small cracks. Tiny cracks are natural and unavoidable. You do not need to call a repair company to fix them.
The location of the cracks or chips is also an important consideration. Structural cracks are of the utmost concern. Structural cracks are typically large and located in key areas, such as your home's foundation. Getting structural cracks repaired immediately is necessary to avoid safety problems or more costly repairs in the future.
Smaller cracks may not cause structural issues. However, ignoring them is still ill advised. Often, they can harbor moisture and mold. If they are located inside your basement, that can negatively affect air quality in your home. Small cracks full of moisture anywhere on your property also have the potential to get larger easily as the moisture erodes more of the concrete. Often, you can repair small cracks yourself using epoxy or a similar substance. If they are allowed to expand, professional help may become necessary.
Concrete Repair Methods and Systems
There are multiple ways professionals can repair cracks in the concrete around your home. One popular method is by filling in the cracks with some type of joint sealant or epoxy. Often cracks are expanded first to ensure proper filling and removal of all compromised materials. Depending on the type of damage, professional concrete repair specialists may opt to plug holes or cracks with Portland cement or a similar mixture. They may also choose to use metal reinforcements to strengthen the cement, which is commonly called stitching. Finally, they may opt to complete resurface or replace concrete, if the damage is extensive enough.
Finding a Concrete Contractor in Your Area
Choosing a concrete contractor you can trust is essential. When you are ready to look for a local concrete contractor, do not focus solely on financial estimates. The contractor who offers the lowest bid may not have the experience or expertise required. Instead, start by requesting referrals from loved ones or checking trusted websites like Angi for trusted contractors in your area. Make sure the concrete contractor you choose is properly certified and licensed. Also, ask as many questions as possible about the project before hiring the contractor. That is the best way to ensure the project is completed properly, safely, and in a timely fashion.