How to Repair Chipped Concrete and Make it Last

Learn how to repair chipped concrete with this guide from an expert. Find out what causes chipping in concrete and how you can make your repairs last.

How to Repair Chipped Concrete and Make it Last

When it comes to repairing concrete slabs that are suffering from chipping, the good news is that it's not too hard to do. The best part is that the repair can last for decades if done correctly. Peeled or chipped concrete refers to concrete that has been pitted, peeled, or broken due to poor installation, stress and environmental factors that damage concrete. This could be cosmetic damage, but it could also cause structural damage and damage the reinforcing bars placed inside the concrete. Therefore, it is important to take care of concrete chipping problems as soon as you notice them.

Signs of chipping include a rough, scaly surface and the breaking of some pieces of concrete. This can be repaired by removing the damaged section so that it can be filled with cement. If you encounter chipped concrete and are not sure how old the concrete is or how and when it was poured, consider contacting a structural engineer or similar professional to come and assess the structural integrity of the surface. The most common cause of chipping is corrosion of embedded steel reinforcing bars or steel sections. Over the course of a winter, or over the years, as internal pressure increases and decreases, the surface layer of concrete is stressed, which leads to flaking.

Insulate repair material to ensure adequate heat is available for curing if ambient temperatures are expected to drop below 50°F. While the strands would serve well as pegs in such circumstances, they could be exposed to moisture and chlorides if the repair fails over the life of the structure. The requirements set forth in DMS 4655, Concrete Repair Materials, ensure that only high quality materials are added to the TxDOT pre-approved list. The combination of patterned concrete and stained concrete may be difficult to repair because wear can alter the appearance of the concrete. The service life of the repair material is critical; follow the manufacturer's published recommendations for storage, including temperature and humidity controls.

The engineer may reduce the curing time required in some cases, such as when it is necessary to return the member to service quickly or when CFRP will be placed over the repair material. If required by the engineer, determine the compressive strength of the repair material by making concrete test cylinders. The use of an appropriately qualified contractor is essential, as is diligent preparation of the substrate and selection of a repair material compatible with the host concrete. If a structure is allowed to deteriorate, its value will decrease and maintenance costs will tend to increase as corrosion and scaling become more widespread. Use a 15-degree tip on the pressure washer wand and keep it only an inch or two from the edge of the chipped areas. For vertical and overhead repairs, limit lift thickness to 2 inches or to the maximum allowed by the supplier of the repair material, whichever is less.

There are several reasons why husking occurs, including freeze-thaw cycles, expansive effects of alkaline silica reaction, or exposure to fire. For situations where only 2-3 years of performance are required due to imminent overlap or rehabilitation plans, different types of reparation will be issued than in situations where repairs are expected to last 10-12 years. With proper care and maintenance, concrete chipping repairs can last for decades if done correctly.