Question: What are the best kinds of materials to use for a concrete repair?

Answer: We asked Alex Zera of Zera Construction, Niles, Ill. to respond:

For repair materials, today there has been a return to reliable, simple concrete mixes with water cement ratios of 0.40 and superplasticizers to improve workability and consolidation. We've seen a return to the basics with bonding agents, too. Epoxies and latexes were used exclusively for many years for the bonding of patch materials. Today, we find that a mix of sand, cement, and water grout brushed into the area to receive the repair material works best. Using materials that are similar to the area to be repaired reduces the chance of a differential coefficient of expansion.

We have found the key steps in a successful concrete repair project to be the following:

  • Completely prepare the area to be repaired
  • Saturate the concrete surface before applying grout
  • Apply sand/cement/water grout
  • Place new concrete
  • Wet cure