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(Second edition)
CONCRETE REPAIR ASSOCIATION Kingsley House, Ganders Business Park, Kingsley, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 9LU Tel: +44 (0)1420 471612 Fax: +44 (0)1420 471611 E-mail:

This document has been produced for the benefit of specifiers, contractors and owners of structures and/or buildings containing concrete components. It contains the basic information needed to establish a route to achieving a good level of concrete repair, appropriate for health & safety and environmental conditions and the clients requirements. The publication does not attempt to delve into the intricacies of specification, or site works. Rather, by following the steps outlined and by reference to the more detailed publications and advisors referred to in this publication, the reader should avoid many of the pitfalls endemic in concrete repair projects of all sizes. The advice contained is consistent with BS EN 1504 Products and systems for the protection and repair of concrete structures- Definitions, requirements, quality control and evaluation of conformity (1). The standard is a framework around which clients and their consultants, or designers, can build a specification.

Overall, both safety and environmental considerations are major factors in the management of a successful concrete repair project. Compliance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 ( and the specific safety requirements of, for example scaffolded sites, are of paramount importance to all members of the project team. Safety of site personnel, residents and visitors is a crucial objective for all project teams. Proper adherence to the regulations must be enforced by all parties. Care should also be taken with regard to the impact of the site on the environment. 'Friendly' practices, that take the needs of local residents and the neighbourhood into account, should be implemented. As Local Authorities become more environmentally aware, following the publication of ISO 14000 (, the conditions that sites enforce on their surrounding areas must be properly managed.


There is a whole list of essential steps that need to be followed or considered before, during and after carrying out the repair. The new BS EN 1504 (1) Standard covers all of these steps (see later section). It is necessary to ensure that each of the listed steps is seriously considered and covered. 1. Health, Safety & Environment 2. Definition of the client's objectives 3. Assessment of damage or deterioration and diagnosis of its cause 4. Specification of the repair work 5. Preparation of contract documents including a full specification and bill of quantities 6. Contractor selection and evaluation 7. Supervision of the work 8. Post-repair management of the structure.


An understanding and consideration of the client's objectives, with regard to financial constraints and the future requirements of the structure, is as important, at this early stage, as the assessment of the structure's problems. The result of thorough testing and analysis of the extent of the structure's problems can affect the client's considerations and will enable the correct contingencies to be put into place prior to tenders being requested. BS EN 1504 clearly states that any repair project must identify the goals and objectives of the building or structure owners, before work commences. This includes life expectancy, future use and budget considerations. Short, medium and long term options, always based on whole life costs, must also be available to enable the most cost-effective repair solution to be agreed. Options might include the downgrading of the load bearing capacity or function of the structure, prevention or reduction of further deterioration, strengthening, reconstruction and partial or complete repair.


Health, Safety and the Environment are set out in this document as the number one step as these aspects together are very important in all cases throughout the whole repair process. Even if subsequently the repair option chosen is to do nothing but monitor, safety for the occupants or pedestrians is of paramount importance, ensuring that structurally the building or structural element is sound and that any loose debris are at least safely restrained or collected.


It is important that a thorough investigation of the nature and extent of the damage/deterioration is carried out by an appropriate professional. The objective must be to treat the causes as well as the symptoms.

A proper assessment will include analysis of the current condition of the structure, including both visible and latent deterioration. BRE Digest 444(2), Part 2, gives a good account of how the structure can be assessed. Consideration should also be given to past, current and future exposure. In most cases, the underlying causes of a problem can be traced to one or more of the processes shown in Figure 1, which can easily be separated into the two types; Degradation of the concrete matrix, or Defects caused by reinforcement corrosion. The effect of these underlying causes is accelerated in certain environments, or if the concrete has low cover, or if it is highly porous. Inspection and testing procedures required, in order to allow the specifier to form an accurate diagnosis, are covered in Concrete Society Technical Report 54(3) and BRE Digest 444(2) Part 2.

1. Effects of repair work on the environment (e.g. noise, dust, etc.) 2. Health and safety considerations 3. Structural considerations (e.g. do any of the repaired components require strengthening) 4. Preventing or slowing continued deterioration 5. Appearance of repaired concrete 6. Durability of chosen repair method (e.g. does a second or third intervention need to be factored into a long-term repair strategy). In all cases, the repair method must comply fully with BS EN 1504 (see later section). One or more of the eleven Principles of Repair, listed in BS EN 1504 Part 9 (see Table 2), need to be chosen for any of the deterioration types shown in Figure 1. The specialist specifying the methods should have a thorough understanding of how each of the techniques work and how it is executed, in order to make the right choice for the client. This knowledge and importantly, the specification of the correct calibre of specialist contractor who also understands the intricacies of each repair option, will ensure the success of a repair project. Materials should be properly selected for the repair required, according to the Repair Principle chosen (see later BS EN 1504 section). Due regard should be given to the reputation of the manufacturer, who is now expected to comply with BS EN 1504 and should, therefore, possess CE marking for the product. A list of such manufacturers can be found in the CRA Members Directory.


Repair work should be specified by a person or company experienced in the causes of concrete and reinforced concrete deterioration and repair. Some members of the CRA offer this service, as do some specialist consultants. The final choice of repair method and materials will depend on a number of factors, including practical problems of how the work can be carried out.

Degradation of the concrete matrix

Defects caused by reinforcement corrosion





Corrosive contaminants

Stray currents

Impact Overload Movement (e.g. settlement) Explosion Vibration

Alkaliaggregate reaction Aggressive agents (e.g. sulphates, soft water, salts) Tribological activities

Freeze/ thaw Thermal Salt crystallisation Shrinkage Erosion wear Mixed-in chlorides External, ingressing chlorides Other contaminants

Figure 1: Common causes of defects in concrete


Repair is not a standard process as the quantity of work required and the nature of that work may vary greatly. Each individual contract must be given continuing consideration, taking into account special factors, such as access, protection and co-ordination with other trades. The specification should be detailed and cover all aspects of the work including progressive investigation and testing, surface cleaning, preparatory work and the precise nature and sequence of the repair operation. It should specify the repair methods and materials, any additional aspects such as weather precautions, material thicknesses and consumption and curing procedures. Specific materials should be selected for the repair required. Due consideration should be given not only to track record, but as previously stated, to those BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Assured accredited manufacturers whose concrete repair and protection materials also possess third party accreditation, such as CE Marking, British Board of Agrment certification, Drinking Water Inspectorate and Water Research Council approvals. As quantities for repair works can only be assessed approximately, accurate bills of quantities are difficult to compile. It is recommended to allow for re-measurement of the repairs carried out and for the inclusion of contingency and/or provisional sums to cater for any unexpected situation that may come to light during the course of the repair works. The size and quantity of repairs can only be reasonably accurately determined after the structure has been cleaned and surveyed. Even then, the amount of concrete to be removed will often not only depend on the strict interpretation of the survey and test results, but also on engineering judgment. The repairs must, however, be defined and outlined with regard to the method to be used, the area to be treated and the method of measurement. It is strongly recommended that the Concrete Repair Association's Method of Measurement for concrete repair be used for this process. It is possible to produce accurate costing for all items, with the exception of the precise number and volume of repairs to be made and time related items. Special attention should be given to this area in the survey works and allowances made in budgets for likely increases in both the number and size of repairs, i.e. to include those identified as areas of latent damage by the initial and the ongoing site testing. It is advisable only to consider contractors with an established reputation and proven competence in concrete repair and protection work. The repair of concrete structures is a specialist skill, and all the tasks involved must be carried out by trained 4

operatives with experience of the repair systems selected. Competence in concrete repair and protection works, trained operatives and the support of qualified management, are essential requirements for members of the Concrete Repair Association.


When assessing tenders one must look beyond a seemingly attractive price. The contract should offer the client quality assurance and therefore security i.e. real value. It must be remembered that with concrete repair and protection, the ultimate aim is to rectify a problem rather than to perpetuate it. False economies at this stage often carry heavy penalties later. Normal commercial considerations should not be forgotten. For example, it is not sensible to award a contract of six months duration with an estimated value in excess of 1 million to a contractor who, despite years of experience and previous good workmanship, has accredited accounts for the previous year showing a total turnover of only (say) 100,000. QA schemes for concrete repair and protection contractors, such as accreditation to BS EN ISO 9000 and British Board of Agrment certification are available. Membership of the CRA and manufacturers recommendation/ approval are additional factors that are considered as useful guides in the selection of suitably qualified concrete repair contractors. Other factors include the use of trained operatives, technical referees, contract references and previous experience. It is a requirement of the Concrete Repair Association that all members are BS EN ISO 9000 Quality Assured accredited.


All parties involved with a contract have professional and contractual obligations. However, notwithstanding these, the project team must be vigilant in supervising the works. The team should include: 1. The Supervising Officer 2. The Clerk of Works 3. The Principal Contractor - who may also be the specialist concrete repair contractor 4. The concrete repair Contractor 5. The concrete repair system Manufacturer to offer technical support 6. The Structural/Consulting Engineer 7. The Building Surveyor 8. The Quantity Surveyor.

The function of supervision is to ensure consistency of the correct standards and quality of the works carried out. It is worth noting that the ability of the project team to fulfil these objectives must be taken into account at the specification and tender stages. When working in a laboratory, conditions can remain constant, but on site there has to be a continuing awareness of the changing state of the building, access, working methods and varying weather conditions. As progressive testing may reveal the unexpected, there also has to be an ability to adapt and incorporate additional elements into the contract. The supervising officer provides guidance in all aspects of the contract. For items that are of structural importance, such as the repair of load bearing elements, the designer must identify locations where the load must be supported before the damaged concrete is broken out, removed and replaced.

BS EN 1504
The new BS EN 1504 Standard (1) covers the abovementioned essential steps and needs to be followed closely. The standard is in ten parts (see Table 1) and is principally a product standard. It addresses all stages of the repair process, from becoming aware of an existing problem, through properly designed and executed repairs, to the handover of a structure to the client. Part Part Part Part Part Part Part Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Definitions Surface protection systems for concrete Structural and non-structural repair Structural Bonding Concrete Injection Anchoring of reinforcing bars Reinforcement corrosion protection Quality control and evaluation of conformity General principles for the use of products and systems Site application of products and systems and quality control of the works


The repaired area, or element of the structure, would have been designed to achieve a certain minimum residual service life. To ensure that this is realistic and that other adjoining structural elements have at least the same residual service life, a monitoring programme would need to be agreed and implemented as part of the management of the structure. The appropriate structure management and monitoring will ensure that any built-in interventions to the repaired or adjoining structural elements that have been planned as part of the longterm repair programme are carried out at the appropriate times.

Part 9 Part 10

Table 1: The parts of BS EN 1504

How the different parts of the standard fit together is summarised in Figure 2. To allow CE marking of the products, more than 60 standards describing test methods for the different properties of the products have been prepared. These standards ensure that testing of the products will be according to the same standards for all products for protection and repair of concrete structures used in Europe.

BS EN 1504-1 Definitions

BS EN 1504-9 General Principles for the use of the products and systems

BS EN 1504-2 to 7 Products Surface Protection Repair Mortars Bonding Materials Injection Materials Anchoring Products Coatings for Steel

Test Methods

BS EN 1504-10 Site application and quality control of the works

(Over 60 standards)

BS EN 1504-8 Quality control of the products

Figure 2: Structure of BS EN 1504 and relation to other Test Methods (Raupach)

Enforcement of the standard in 2009 means that all product manufacturers are obliged to produce repair materials that fully comply with minimum specifications, according to the appropriate part of the standard and the appropriate test methods. Each product must also be applicable for use in at least one of eleven different Principles of Repair as described in Part 9 of the standard (see Table 2). Principles related to degradation of the concrete matrix Principle 1 Protection against ingress Principle 2 Moisture control Principle 3 Concrete restoration Principle 4 Structural strengthening Principle 5 Increasing physical resistance Principle 6 Increasing resistance to chemicals Principles related to reinforcement corrosion Principle 7 Preserving or restoring passivity Principle 8 Increasing resistivity Principle 9 Cathodic control Principle 10 Cathodic protection Principle 11 Control of anodic areas and systems
Table 2: Repair principles in BS EN 1504 Part 9

Assess structure
(Salt exposure, concrete defects, steel corrosion, etc.)

Consider Options
(Do nothing, repair, demolish, etc.)

Select repair principles

(Protect against salt ingress, restore concrete, apply cathodic protection etc.)

Choose repair method(s)

(Coat surface, patch repair, Install galvanic anodes etc.)

Specify material performance

(Permeability of coating, strength, current output etc.)

Carry out repair Set out ongoing requirements

(Define inspection and maintenance requirements) Figure 3: Steps in the repair process with examples

Having identified a need for some form of remediation of the structure, Part 9 is the first document the specifier or engineer needs to look at. It provides a structured approach to the investigation and the identification of the cause of deterioration and outlines all the principles of remedial action, which are applicable for known forms of deterioration (see Figure 1). The necessary steps in the repair process are illustrated well in Technical Report No. 69 produced by the Joint Working Party of the Concrete Society, Corrosion Prevention Association and Institute of Corrosion(4) and described in some detail in BRE Digest 444(2). Figure 3 illustrates these steps. It is essential to first undertake a formal assessment of the structures condition so that the causes of deterioration can be accurately determined. The process should then follow a logical number of steps, as illustrated in Figure 3, considering options and selecting principles aimed at achieving economic choices based on whole life-costing. Superficially less expensive options, in the short term, may prove to be more expensive over the residual service life of the structure as, for example, may be the case when sacrificial anodes are omitted in patch repairs of steel reinforced concrete elements. Longterm, such additional protection can significantly

increase the life expectancy of the repair by eliminating the development of new areas of damage around the patch repair. All realistic repair options must be considered therefore, before a decision is made based on timescales and costs relative to the residual service life of the structure or structural element. As depicted in Figure 3, the route to a successful repair is based on a hierarchy of different levels, namely options, principles and methods. EN 1504-9 in providing for a wider review of the condition and future use of the structure, suggests that the following options be taken into account in deciding the appropriate action to meet the future requirements and the desired residual service life of the structure: a) Do nothing for a certain time b) Analyse again the structural capacity, possibly leading to the downgrading of the function of the concrete structure c) Prevent or reduce further deterioration, without improvement of the concrete structure d) Improve, strengthen or refurbish all or parts of the concrete structure e) Reconstruct part or all of the concrete structure and f) Demolish all or part of the concrete structure.

For protection and repair, different principles have been defined, separately for repair and protection of damages to the concrete and damages induced by reinforcement corrosion (see Table 2). Altogether 37 methods are described within EN 1504-9. Not all of them are covered by the EN 1504 series but are covered by other standards. Some are not standardised, but are expected to be regulated in future. Running through the steps in Figure 3, the designer selects the required performance characteristics based on the requirements of the individual repair project and the selected repair methods. For example, a coating may be required only for internal use or alternatively, it may require specific properties against chloride ingress in an external environment. The specific performance characteristics of these products are contained within EN 1504-2 to 7 together with the corresponding test methods. In this way, the products are selected individually for the demands of the special case of repair or protection of a concrete structure. This has resulted in a high level of flexibility, but it also passes responsibility to the designer. Most manufacturers have classified their products according to BS EN 1504 Parts 2-7, ensuring that they perform according to the specification. Some offer guidance as to how each product is applicable for the appropriate repair principle. For the manufacturers, achieving the minimum specification of the appropriate part of the standard is the first step towards CE marking of each product or system, which will become mandatory in many parts of Europe. Examples of how the process deals with problems associated with damage caused by corrosion of the steel reinforcement can be found in CRA Advice Note 4, Electrochemical rehabilitation of steel reinforced concrete structures(5).

Sections 1-3 Scope, Normative references, Terms and definitions Section 4 Structural stability during preparation, protection and repair Section 5 General requirements Section 6 Methods of protection and repair Section 7 Preparation of substrate Section 8 Applications of products and systems 8.1 General 8.2 Defects in Concrete and structural strengthening 8.3 Defects caused by reinforcement corrosion Section 9 Quality control 9.1 General 9.2 Quality control tests and observations Section 10 Maintenance Section 11 Health, safety and the environment Annex Informative
Table 3: Sections of part 10 of BS EN 1504

The standard gets to the basics of actual repair specification from Section 6. It cross-references the protection and repair Principles from Part 9 with repair methods (Section 6), preparation requirements (Section 7), application requirements (Section 8) and the relevant quality control method (Section 9). Each section thus details the considerations that must be taken into account in the execution of each stage of the work. Maintenance of the structure post repair (Section 10) is an essential element of the overall rehabilitation process to ensure that repaired areas perform to specifications and are achieving the necessary residual service life. Maintenance may be combined with monitoring of critical elements of the structure either on a continual basis, or at planned intervals as part of an overall management strategy (see also earlier section: Post repair management of the structure). As mentioned at the beginning of this Advice Note, Health, safety and the environment (Section 11) are important aspects of the whole repair procedure and policies must be considered, agreed and implemented throughout.

Part 10 gives general guidance for site application and quality control. This includes preparation, application and quality control of selected systems. It is also advisable, however, that additional productspecific information, provided by the manufacturer, should also be incorporated into the procedures prior to the initiation of work. This part of the standard can easily be considered as the installers section as it essentially deals with the installation of the repair scheme chosen. It should be understood, however, that the selection of the preparation and repair process would normally rest with the designer. It must therefore be made very clear, if there is overlap of responsibilities, as to who does what within this part. The breakdown of the appropriate sections within this part is detailed in Table 3.

This Advice Note (in conjunction with BS EN 1504) provides a framework for designing, specifying and applying the chosen repair principle or principles. It does not, however, guarantee the end user a successful repair. This is because the right material may not have been chosen in the first instance, or the material or procedure may not have been applied properly. It is advisable, therefore, that an engineer qualified and experienced in the use of the appropriate repair principle and chosen system within that principle is engaged. Similarly, the Standard does not offer guidance or restrictions on the techniques and methods covered by the principles, particularly as applied on site, nor on the site quality control of the processes. It is best to seek advice and guidance on how to best carry out the works on site from material manufacturers and specialist contractors, such as members of the Concrete Repair Association (CRA).

1. British Standards Institution, BS EN 1504. Products and systems for the repair and protection of concrete structures- Definitions, requirements, quality control and evaluation of conformity, Part 1: Definitions, Part 2: Surface protection systems for concrete, Part 3: Structural and non-structural repair, Part 4: Structural Bonding, Part 5: Concrete injection, Part 6: Anchoring of reinforcing bars, Part 7: Reinforcement corrosion protection, Part 8: Quality control and evaluation of conformity, Part 9: General principles for the use of products and systems, Part 10: Site application of products and systems, and quality control of the works, BSI, London, various dates. 2. Building Research Establishment, Corrosion of Steel in Concrete, Part 1: Durability of reinforced concrete structures, Part 2: Investigation and assessment, Part 3: Protection and remediation, Digest 444, BRE, Garston, Watford, 2000. 3. Technical Report No. 54, Diagnosis of deterioration in concrete structures Identification of defects, evaluation and development of remedial action 2000. 4. Technical Report No. 69, Repair of concrete structures with reference to BS EN 1504, Cement & Concrete Industry Publication, April 2009. 5. Advice Note 4, Electrochemical rehabilitation of steel reinforced concrete structures, Concrete Repair Association, 2009.

Dr George Sergi, Corrosion Consultant, Birmingham City Laboratories

Although care has been taken to ensure to the best of our knowledge that all data and information contained herein is accurate to the extent that it relates to either matters of fact or accepted practice or matters of opinion at the time of publication the Concrete |repair Association assumes no responsibility for any errors in the misinterpretation of such data and/or information or any loss or damage arising from or related to its use.

October 2009: The Concrete Repair Association