Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images

At CC Live (Booth C4587) on Wednesday, Concrete Construction editor in chief Bill Palmer talked with Dr. Neil McMurdie and Kevin Smith of Mapei about advances in concrete repair materials and techniques. Making durable repairs has been a challenge in the past partly due to poor preparation of the repair site and also to improper selection of materials for the application. “The keys are proper surface prep, good priming, high-strength, fast-setting materials, and proper curing,” says McMurdie. “getting all of the damaged material out first is essential.” Aesthetics of the repair is also important, says Smith. “We now have easy-to-apply coatings that can cover the repair and match it to the existing substrate.”

“One important issue,” says McMurdie, “is understanding the root cause of the problem.” New techniques for evaluating damaged concrete are providing better information up front so that the time can be taken at that point to get things right.” But with time always an issue, the newest repair materials can help to make up that time by being very fast to set and gain strength to put the structure back into service and with green materials.”

Structural strengthening is another repair technique that is now widely accepted in North America, said Smith, using carbon fiber wraps that can overcome design or construction flaws. “The innovation in this area,” says McMurdie, “is that the wraps today are strong in two directions.”