Concrete is legendarily tough – it's used for bombproof bunkers after all – but nothing lasts for ever and for a number of reasons concrete will eventually fail. In some cases that's pure age but in many it's because either the wrong mix of concrete was chosen, or it wasn't reinforced where it has since had to take heavy loads, or it was applied incorrectly. In all of these cases the concrete will start to crack, pit, or crumble and of course once something starts to go wrong in the Florida climate the elements waste no time in getting to work on it and making it worse. So repair early rather than waiting and having to pay more to repair late.
Sorting The Cause
A huge number of concrete repairs fail again very rapidly and that's a sign that the real underlying symptom hasn't been identified. Before we start on repairs we first break out the deerstalker and magnifying glass and Sherlock our way to finding the culprit. Where there are major cracks or exposed rebar the concrete is in trouble and needs replacing. Where a sharp tap with a hammer produces a dull sound rather than the hard ring of healthy concrete we know it is delaminated. The time we spend checking the reasons for concrete problems is paid back in the durability of our repairs.
If we believe the cause of a crack is not serious – concrete often cracks during the drying process for example – then we may be able to fix the crack by filling it with epoxy or latex sealers and then applying a thin resurfacing coat to the top to restore the smoothness and look. That's quick and very cost effective.
Patching and Grinding
If however we establish that an area of a slab has been seriously damaged then the first part of the job is to remove the damaged concrete and that may be a plug or it may be a layer that has to be cut out or ground down and then a new concrete mix applied and cured. That takes more time but is often the best way to ensure long lasting results especially if the concrete being repaired is reinforced and needs new rebar.
We're big fans of sealing concrete because we've seen so often the difference it makes to put in that preventative maintenance. Concrete sealers can be decorative by using colored washes but for us the big benefit is that they simply extend the life of your concrete slab. They can leave color or sheen, or if you use penetrative sealers they can have no apparent effect whatsoever. What they do however is seep deep into the porous concrete and protect it against water while preventing the growth of mold and mildew. We can seal old concrete or new concrete that we have poured ourselves so whatever concrete you have call us to find out more about the benefits of sealers and the money they can save you in the long run on repairs.