An Overview of Concrete Crack Repair

Concrete repair is a four billion dollar a year business according to “Concrete Repair Digest” magazine. Concrete crack repair is one element of this market.
This article limits itself to the repair of concrete cracks in general and specifically to cracks of structures 16 inches in thickness or less. Most typically, we are relating to basements, other building foundations, parking decks, swimming pools, and unique poured-wall structures such as sea walls.
These applications have in common the preferred method of repair – low pressure crack injection of a liquid polymer which hardens with time. Other applications, such as those involving very thick-walled structures (such as dams) and very long cracks (found on bridges and highways) may be more suited to high pressure injection.go right hereĀ pool crack repair.
By far the most frequent type of cracks is caused during construction by failure to provide sufficient working joints to accommodate drying shrinkage and thermal movement. Also common are those cracks caused by structural settlement, overload or earthquakes. Most cracks are formed in the first 30 days of the pouring of the concrete structure.
These cracks may initially be too small to be detected and to have any negative consequences at first, while at other times, never growing to be a problem at all. Other cracks become visible very early and cause problems, such as water leakage, almost immediately.
Even the early undetected cracks can, in time, become larger and cause problems, whether structural or more commonly a source of water leakage.
How this happens can be delineated as:
1. Especially in colder climates, moisture can permeate these tiny breaks in the concrete substrate and enlarge them to full-fledged leaking cracks by moisture expansion/contraction resulting from freeze/thaw cycle of the moisture.
2. In addition, as the ground around the foundation stabilizes, any movement can cause the rigid concrete substrate to separate at these tiny breaks in the concrete, enlarging then to a water- leaking size.
3. A more serious problem to solve is when the area around the foundation remains unsettled, resulting in an ongoing stress on the concrete structure. If this stress exceeds the strength of the concrete, cracks will form even where initial cracks did not exist (even after repair of these initial cracks).
The first two listed sources of crack formation and propagation are situations to which repair can readily be effective and complete. The third situation should not be addressed unless done jointly with soil stabilization, peering, or mud-jacking to eliminate the cause of continuing settling.