How to Choose Between Different Concrete Repair Products
When properly laid down, concrete is an excellent working surface. It’s extremely hard and capable of carrying extremely heavy loads, with minimal damage. Unfinished, it is porous and can allow water – such as rain – to pass through and into the ground. Finished and coated, it becomes a nearly impervious surface.
However, nothing lasts forever. Concrete is durable but can be damaged by wear and tear over time, and can also be cracked with sufficient force – such as earthquakes. Fortunately, there are several options in concrete repair products you could utilize, depending on the situation.
These are three of the most common options.
Three Common Concrete Repair Products and Their Uses
- Non-shrink mortar
The most basic type of damage you’re likely to see in concrete is small cracks. These should be patched as soon as they’re spotted since they’ll only spread and create more damage over time. In these cases, non-shrink mortar is usually the best option. It won’t necessarily match the exact look of the surrounding concrete, but it will quickly and cheaply fill in the cracks.
Non-shrink mortar is especially useful if the cracks are temperature-related, such as a hard freeze followed by a sudden thaw. As the name suggests, non-shrink mortar can fill these gaps without being susceptible to expansion/contraction damage.
- Standard Portland concrete
One nice thing about concrete is that it’s self-adhering, so most of the time, you can simply pour more concrete to fix a larger gap or crack. Generally, the process is to use an industrial cutter to carve out a chunk of the concrete surrounding the damage, then pour in new concrete to fill the hole. Be aware, this won’t match the surrounding color – you’ll always have a visible “patch” in your concrete. However, a patch job is vastly less expensive than ripping out and re-pouring the entire concrete surface.
- Polymer-infused Portland concrete
So, what do you do if the damaged concrete isn’t on the ground, such as a damaged concrete wall? That’s when you use polymer-infused concrete. Mixed with adhesive materials such as latex, this type of concrete bonds more readily to surrounding concrete, as well as curing more quickly. That makes it the preferred option when gravity is working against you, but you need a patch to hold.