The first step in repairing concrete must always be an objective look at why a repair is needed.
Once we know that a concrete problem is a design, materials, or workmanship problem, we then continue our evaluation by determining the extent and severity of concrete distress.
An evaluation must estimate reasonably the cause of the distress—how deeply it affects the concrete and how widespread the problem is within the structure. The evaluation should also consider the quality of the concrete that will remain once the deteriorated concrete has been removed. It's necessary to understand the underlying cause and extent of the deterioration before deciding how to proceed with any repair.
Knowing the cause, extent, and severity of a concrete problem, we then turn our attention to the condition of the substrate. The removal may have to extend slightly deeper to reveal a sound substrate that must then be roughened and cleaned so the overlay will bond properly.
First we must consider the various surface preparation methods that will yield the desired surface profile and condition in the most expedient way.
The owner's requirements and the materials being considered for the repair will also influence a contractor conducting a repair analysis.
A mock-up at the beginning of a project allows the contractor to foresee problems with constructibility or compatibility of systems or materials. A mock-up allows everyone involved to view and agree on an approved finished appearance. What may appear straightforward on the drawings may not be possible to build in the field, and a mock-up provides an opportunity to fine-tune a detail that may later cause great frustration. This process also may help develop shortcuts to reduce time and increase profits on a repair project.