We can easily spot concrete anywhere at any given time. Most constructions are incomplete without using concrete. Yet when we look around, almost often we can see cracks, rust, excessive deflections, spalling of concrete or concrete that looks like it may crumble at any time.
You needn’t look too far to spot damages like these. It can even be found in our own homes. In our balconies, in parking garages, in public places.
The damage is a tad too visible for it to be ignored. Most of the time, these damages are signs of an internal problem within the concrete.
This may be steel corrosion inside the concrete or even self-destructive mechanisms that tend to occur inside the concrete.
For these structures to not collapse and withstand for longer periods, we must take appropriate measures. Two important measures of the same are known as structural repair and rehabilitation offered by famous companies like BaycrawlSpace.
What are repair and rehabilitation?
Repair refers to the processes that are used to restore the shape of a concrete element while maintaining its structural integrity. It aims at restoring the damages and thus making them in good condition again.
If the root cause of the damage is identified, then repair activities can be carried out successfully without any problems.
Otherwise, if a faulty cause is identified instead of a true cause, the damages are susceptible to appear again. Therefore by doing repair work on a structure, we can improve its strength and durability.
Some of the actions taken while considering a repair procedure include considering the total cost while also identifying if there would be a further development of defects even after repair events.
The next step is the selection of what technique should be taken to get rid of the damage. This is dependent on factors like cause of damage, structure-function, availability of materials for repair, etc. These days many different repair techniques are used in construction. They include:
- Usage of pre-packed mortars which have high strength
- Usage of ready to spray mortars
- Corrosion protection system
- Different kinds of sealants and coatings
Along with this, another critical factor in the repair activities is the training of applicators. Proper application of materials is crucial enough; hence, training should be provided on the same for better efficiency and quality in work done.
The processes of rehabilitation are fundamentally the same while comparing with repair processes. In addition to maintaining structural integrity and restoring the shapes of structures rehabilitation activities facilitate the mitigation of the damage.
It mainly provides mechanisms by which the processes which cause the damage can be stopped altogether. It also lasts longer than most repair activities. Rehabilitation is inevitable now that most concrete structures show signs of damage even in the early stages.
A great rehabilitation technique would be the use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FPR) composites, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP). These are greatly used while at construction due to its desirable qualities such as increasing and improving the load-carrying capacity.
As they are fibers of high strength bonded in a matrix of resin, the matrix helps to act as a load transfer medium thus enabling significant protection from environmental damages.
Since it is this matrix bond that provides a load transfer medium, other rehabilitation techniques like concrete crack spacing, etc. are controlled by FRP application.
With structural damages being inevitable, the repair and rehabilitation industries are now flourishing more than ever. Although this is the case, a lot of shortcomings and practical difficulties will always arise.
To effectively reduce them, it is important that we set and impose certain guidelines and standards that need to be followed during repair and rehabilitation.