Repairing and Replacing Concrete

Concrete Repair Colorado Springs can help reduce safety hazards and extend the lifespan of structures. In addition, repairing small problems can prevent them from expanding into more serious and costly issues.

Getting new concrete poured involves a lot of work and time commitment. However, it may be the best option, depending on what you’re looking to accomplish.


Concrete replacement is a significant undertaking that involves a lot of work. From finding a reputable contractor to demolishing and installing new concrete, it’s a project that can be very time-consuming, expensive, and messy. Then there are the risks that come with it – bad batches of concrete, torn-up lawns and landscaping, and more. Whether you’re a contractor or a property owner, many options are available for concrete repair and replacement.

One option that can save you a lot of hassle is routing and sealing. This method uses a specialized machine to enlarge the crack, leaving a V-shaped groove filled with a hot liquified rubber sealant. It is important to keep in mind that routing must be done prior to sealing to ensure that the liquified rubber can reach all areas of the crack, and not just what is on the surface. It is also essential that you prepare the surface to be sealed properly, as it must be free of dirt and debris.

Another option for repairing concrete surfaces is epoxy injection. This technique is best suited for dormant cracks that are not likely to progress further or that have not been caused by design or construction errors. It consists of applying a surface cap of non-sag epoxy to confine the crack, drilling holes at close intervals along horizontal, vertical or overhead cracks, and injecting epoxy under pressure. The injected epoxy bonds or welds the cracked concrete together, restores its as-designed strengths, and waterproofs the crack.

It’s also important to choose the right type of sealant for your project. There are many different types on the market, from epoxies to silicones and urethanes. Some are designed to be flexible, which is best for cracks that may grow or move over time, while others are harder and more suited for dormant or static cracks that will not expand or move.

Finally, you must take into consideration the coefficient of thermal expansion when selecting a concrete repair material. Most repair materials are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so it’s crucial to select an appropriate product for the conditions.

Concrete is hard and durable, but it can become damaged over time. Holes and broken areas can be a nuisance, and they can allow water or rodents to enter your home. Filling in holes as soon as possible is a great way to prevent further damage and protect your property. Before you begin patching, remove any loose debris and wipe the area clean with a water-dampened rag. This will allow the patching material to bond tightly.

Next, if the hole is near your foundation walls, use a cold chisel to undercut the area and create a rough surface. This will help lock the new concrete into place and give it more strength than if you simply filled in the hole. You should also clean the undercut area thoroughly to eliminate any dirt or debris that can weaken the new concrete. If the hole is in a high traffic area, it may be a good idea to reinforce the concrete with mesh or rebar before filling in the repair.

Mix up the concrete patching material in a bucket and add less water than it specifies. The consistency should be pancake batter, rather than a paste. It should be easy to work with, but still firm enough to stay in place once it dries. Pour the concrete into the hole, packing it firmly and spreading it evenly. After you have leveled the concrete, wet a trowel and gently smooth out the surface to blend it with the existing concrete.

If you are using a pre-mixed concrete patch, follow the package instructions for application. Otherwise, mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. It’s important that the concrete be mixed well and not too thick to get a strong, long-lasting repair.

Once the concrete is dry, spray it with a water hose to make sure there are no puddles left in the patch. Water that remains will suck up the cement, weakening it. If you are doing a large area, consider using a commercial concrete cleaner to help you remove any tough stains or buildup.

If a concrete floor has delamination, repairing it involves much more than slapping patching mortar over the area. It involves removal of the affected area, remediation and replacement to ensure a sound surface. It’s a very involved repair, but one that can produce good results. It can also be very time-consuming and costly, but it’s far better than letting delamination continue.

Delamination in concrete happens when the top layer of concrete separates from the body of concrete underneath. It’s a bit like a blister on the skin. There are two main causes of delamination in concrete: air-related and water-related. Air-related delamination is often caused by troweling the surface of concrete before it sets, which traps bleed water and air under the slab. This creates “blisters” on the surface that later break down with traffic and expose the aggregate beneath. This type of delamination is common in commercial and industrial applications where concrete is finished early.

In these cases, it’s important to apply a good bonding agent, such as UNIQUE V-SEAL, to the exposed aggregate and then use a concrete densifier to increase its strength. Then, a concrete sealer can protect the repaired surface from weather and salt.

Another option for repairing concrete delamination is to inject a polyurethane foam. This can fill voids and lift concrete, but it’s not a permanent solution. It’s also not as cost-effective as replacing the concrete, and it can take over a week to do and 28 days before you can put any weight on it.

To use this method, a dry diamond drill is used to make a hole into the concrete at the symptom location. It expands as it cures, so the void is filled and soundings are checked to verify that the concrete is back up to its original level. This is a quick and noninvasive repair that can be done in a single day and is ready for use immediately after. This is a great alternative to replacing the concrete.

Before you attempt to repair a crack, it’s important to understand the factors that are causing it. The physical causes of concrete damage are heat, changes in temperature and moisture, and structural loading. It’s also possible that the concrete structure has been damaged by chemical attack from chloride ions or corrosion of reinforcing steel.

You will need a few basic tools to perform the repairs, including a hammer and some spray paint. Pinging the concrete will reveal delaminated areas, and the spray paint can be used to highlight them. It’s also helpful to have a tape measure, as well as a crowbar or other tool to break up any remaining concrete.

Depending on the location of the crack, you may need to apply a bonding agent. This is a thin liquid that bonds new materials to old, improving adhesion and flexibility. Before applying the bonding agent, clean the area of the crack with a hose or brush and remove any loose debris. Then, use a putty trowel to mix and spread a cement-based patching compound over the cracked concrete surface.

The patching compound should be a compatible material with the existing concrete structure. This will help to reduce the potential for future problems. For instance, the tensile strength of the patch should be similar to that of the original concrete, as well as the elastic modulus and thermal coefficients. It should also be resistant to freeze-thaw cycling and able to withstand water vapor pressures.

In addition to patching and sealing, you can also reinforce cracks by adding a pre-stressed steel element. These can be cables or bars that add a compressive force to the structure, helping to prevent further damage or failure. Stitching is another method that uses U-shaped metal bars of varying lengths to bridge the crack, spreading the load more evenly across the structure.

Although repairing concrete is relatively simple, it’s still a job best left to professionals who have the proper equipment and knowledge of the industry. Professional contractors can save you time and money while ensuring your concrete repair is done correctly. They can also offer a warranty on their work and insurance to protect you in the event of an accident during the project.

Steel Shelf Angles and Masonry

The use of masonry veneer in building construction often requires steel shelf angles, which transfer the cladding load onto major elements of the concrete frame. Charleston Masonry also provides a space for movement within the masonry wall and between the structure and the cladding.

In one instance, a contractor bid the job, assuming there would be no sealant required under the shelf angle, and filled it with mortar. This allowed water to enter the wall, which led to damage.


Masonry is a durable, attractive, and highly customizable building material. A variety of surface treatments and coatings accentuate its beauty. In addition, it reflects light and shadows, presenting a color palette unique to each structure. It can also be augmented with electric lighting to enhance its colors and textures further. Many new technological advances have been made in masonry construction and materials. These include the use of slenderer units, improved strength parameters, and methods for reducing shrinkage cracking.

The most common causes of distress in brick masonry walls are corrosion and failure of embedded steel elements, including lintels, reinforcement, anchors, and ties. These failures often result in bending, bowing, or lateral displacement of the masonry wall system. This damage is usually caused by water penetration into the wall, causing steel lintels and other structural elements to corrode.

Other causes of distress in masonry walls are the failure of expansion joints or inadequate anchorage of the brick veneer to the backup system. When expansion joints are narrow or spaced too far apart, there needs to be more accommodation for masonry expansion. This can lead to brick movement and the formation of long vertical cracks in the facade. Inadequate anchorage can also cause lateral displacement of the veneer.

Another common cause of distress is the failure to install a lintel at door or window openings. This can cause a significant reduction in the building’s energy efficiency and may lead to problems with air sealing, moisture, or condensation. An engineer should size lintels to meet the steel design code. They should be stiff to minimize masonry cracks.

Efflorescence, which is white salty streaks visible on the surface of a masonry wall, is a common symptom of poor water management in masonry walls. It is the result of the leaching of water-soluble salts from the mortar. The best way to prevent this problem is to drain the walls and seal all exterior openings properly.

Lintels and shelf angles are important components of a masonry wall assembly. However, they need to be well-documented in the building physics literature. Sometimes, they create linear thermal bridges that reduce a wall’s R-value by 50% or more. Moreover, they can hinder energy code compliance for masonry veneer buildings.

Masonry walls are attractive, durable, and easy to repair. They can also be built with various colors and textures to suit any building design. They are also more insulated than wood frame walls, providing an R-value of about R-1 per inch. They also require fewer framing members, which means less maintenance over time. A brick wall also lasts longer than a wooden or metal framed wall, making it more cost-effective in the long run.

While masonry is an attractive construction material, it requires special detailing for movement control, moisture management, and thermal performance. One example is shelf angles, which transfer the load of a brick veneer to major elements of a concrete or steel frame and provide space for masonry and definite structural movements. When poorly designed and detailed, these supports can cause serious problems in a building’s structure and may not comply with building codes.

The design of shelf angles and lintels is a crucial aspect of masonry veneer construction. Engineers must consider the load and adequacy of the foundation, the size and location of windows and doors, the type of masonry anchorage, and the amount of movement expected in the cladding system. To reduce the risk of movement damage, the engineer should ensure that the lintels are designed to support a minimum of two-thirds of the maximum brick thickness, and that they are positioned at least 10 feet (8 m) from the foundation’s edge.

In addition to providing structural support, a lintel should have sufficient bearing capacity to resist lateral loads from wind and seismic pressures. This is especially important in high-rise buildings, where the lateral forces on the lintel can be considerable. In addition, the lintel should be anchored to the concrete or masonry backup system and not to the brick veneer.

Another key component of a good brick masonry support system is a flashing system and waterproofing. At all transitions between the brick veneer and the underlying backup, such as at shelf angles, lintels, and the base of the wall, flashing flexible, impermeable material is used to collect water and drain it away from the backing wall. To protect the brick masonry from moisture damage, flashings should be safeguarded by counter-flashings, which are attached to or directly laid into the backup. Drip edges, or downward bends in rigid flashings, encourage water to form droplets that fall away from the wall rather than flowing back up underneath the flashing and into the masonry.

Brick masonry is usually non-loadbearing, and the structure of the building must support its weight. It is commonly cladded with a single wythe of brick or other masonry, a veneer, that extends across wide openings. Shelf angles are typically installed to support this type of cladding. These are attached to the foundation or major elements of the building frame. To reduce thermal bridging, Armatherm FRR structural thermal break material can be placed behind the shelf angle to significantly lower the linear transmittance of heat from the foundation through the masonry veneer.

To install brick veneer, construct a rounded frame for the wall section using lumber and plywood. The frame is shaped to the exact curvature or radius of the wall section and must be supported from below. This will prevent the brick from collapsing under its weight. The frame must be placed before the mortar is applied, and a layer of masonry pointing mortar should be installed over it to prevent water intrusion into the framing members.

Before you start laying your first course of brick veneer, make sure that the base row is fastened to an angle iron that is attached to the foundation. Snap a chalk line along the foundation to ensure that the bricks will be straight, and cut the angle iron to length before installing it on the foundation with lag screws. You must also mark the foundation for a 3-inch-deep row of holes to drill and place lag shields around each hole.

Once you have laid your first course of brick, you must apply the second course over it. It would be best to use a lipped brick with one short leg and one long leg to alternate the positions of these pieces in each row. This will help ensure that the joints are evenly spaced and prevent sagging of the brick face over time.

You should also make sure that you fill all of the head joints in the brick veneer. This will prevent moisture from getting into the cavity, which can lead to mold and mildew. Moreover, it will also prevent the deterioration of the underlying sheathing. If the moisture penetrates the sheathing, it can cause serious problems for the entire wall assembly. To ensure proper brick veneer installation, you should hire a contractor who has completed advanced masonry training programs.

Many buildings we use and work in are constructed from masonry materials, including bricks. This type of construction is extremely durable, but it can wear down over time. This can cause serious damage and costly repairs if addressed slowly. This is why it is important to understand the warning signs of masonry problems and to take steps to prevent them.

One of the most common masonry issues is efflorescence, which results from soluble salts rising through concrete and coming out of the outer pores of the brick facade. This can look like a white stain and is usually caused by conditions of heightened moisture, such as rain, dew, and condensation. If it isn’t removed in time, it can develop into calcium carbonate, which can only be broken down by toxic and dangerous chemicals.

Another common masonry issue is cracking. These cracks are often the result of structural movement. Still, they can also be caused by thermal shock, poor foundation design, or subgrade soil conditions. It is important to repair these cracks promptly as they can weaken the structure and lead to further problems.

It is also essential to inspect the steel lintels and shelf angles regularly. This is particularly important if the building is in a high wind zone or where there is frequent rainfall. Regular inspections can identify deterioration and potential problems before they become more serious. The inspection should include:

  • A probe of the steel plate.
  • An assessment of the lifespan and usage of the lintels or angle.
  • Recommendations for critical maintenance and repair.

A good masonry restoration contractor can help you with any masonry issues that may arise in your home or business. These can range from simple tuckpointing to more complex projects, such as brick replacement or rebuilding an entire wall. Repairing masonry is much less expensive and stressful than fixing it later.

If you’re noticing bricks disintegrating, this is a sign that the mortar that holds them together has deteriorated. This can allow water into the masonry, leading to structural damage and mold. It’s also important to watch for bricks that are bulging. These can signify a frost boil, where moisture seeps into the back of your brick masonry. This is often exacerbated by freeze-thaw cycles, which can cause the expansion of trapped moisture within the masonry walls.