Concrete specifications often require contractors to repair surface defects immediately after formwork removal. However, surface defects aren't well defined. Nor do specifications give limits on the size or extent of a defect. For instance, section of ACI 301-99, "Specifications for Structural Concrete," instructs the contractor to outline honeycombed or otherwise defective concrete with a 1/2- to 3/4-inch-deep sawcut and remove such concrete down to sound concrete. But ACI doesn't indicate the size and number of voids that will trigger required repairs nor does it define "otherwise defective concrete."

Concrete Construction asked concrete contractor Ron Simonetti, Cleveland Cement Contractors Inc., Cleveland, and engineer and specifier Douglas Sordyl, Giffels Associates Inc., Southfield, Mich., for their views on repairing surface defects.