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2. Typical Damages on new Structures

Typical damages encountered on new concrete structures usually are the result of
one or a combination of the following actions.
(a) Crazing of concrete
Incorrect placement of steel can result in insufficient cover, leading to corrosion of
the reinforcement. If the bars are placed grossly out of position or in the wrong
position, collapse can occur when the element is fully loaded.

(b) Inadequate cover to reinforcement

Inadequate cover to reinforcement permits ingress of moisture, gases and other
substances and leads to corrosion of the reinforcement and cracking and spalling of
(c) Incorrectly made construction joints
The main faults in construction joints are lack of preparation and poor compaction.
The old concrete should be washed and a layer of rich concrete laid before pouring
is continued. Poor joints allow ingress of moisture and staining of the concrete face.

(d) Grout leakage

Grout leakage occurs where formwork joints do not fit together properly. The result
is a porous area of concrete that has little or no cement and fine aggregate. All
formwork joints should be properly sealed.

(e) Poor compaction

If concrete is not properly compacted by ramming or vibration the result is a portion
of porous honeycomb concrete. This part must be hacked out and recast. Complete
compaction is essential to give a dense, impermeable concrete.

Segregation occurs when the mix ingredients become separated. It is the result of
1. dropping the mix through too great a height in placing (chutes or pipes should be
used in such cases)
2. using a harsh mix with high coarse aggregate content
3. large aggregate sinking due to over-vibration or use of too much plasticizer
Segregation results in uneven concrete texture, or porous concrete in some cases.

(g) Poor curing

A poor curing procedure can result in loss of water through evaporation. This can
cause a reduction in strength if there is not sufficient water for complete hydration of
the cement. Loss of water can cause shrinkage cracking. During curing the concrete
should be kept damp and covered.
(h) Too high a water content
Excess water increases workability but decreases the strength and increases the
porosity and permeability of the hardened concrete,which can lead to corrosion of
the reinforcement. The correct water-to-cement ratio for the mix should be strictly
Examples of damages created by the above actions are given below as reference:

Figure 1. Crazing damage example

Figure 2. Pour Contraction Joint Damage

Figure 3. Segregation

Figure 4. Plastic Settlement

Figure 5. Plastic shrinkage Damages

Figure 6. Pour Vibration Damages

3. Types of repairs
(a) Concrete replacement
-The concrete replacement method consists of replacing defective concrete with
machine-mixed concrete of suitable proportions and consistency, so that it will
become integral with the base concrete.
Concrete replacement is the desired method if there is honeycomb in new
construction or deterioration of old concrete which goes entirely through the wall or
beyond the reinforcement, or if the quantity is large. For new work, the repairs should
be made immediately after stripping the forms.
Considerable concrete removal is always required for this type of repair. Excavation
of affected areas should continue until there is no question that sound concrete has
been reached.
Additional chipping may be necessary to accommodate the repair method and
shape the cavity properly.
Concrete for the repair should generally be similar to the old concrete in maximum
size of aggregate and water-cement ratio.
Forming will usually be required for large repairs in vertical surfaces.
(b) Dry pack
The dry pack method consists of ramming a very stiff mix into place in thin layers. It
is suitable for filling form tie-rod holes and narrow slots, and for repairing any cavity
which has a relatively high ratio of depth to area.
Practically no shrinkage will occur with this mix, and it develops a strength equalling
or exceeding that of the parent concrete. The method does not require any special
equipment, but cement finishers must be trained in this type of repair if the results
are to be satisfactory.
(c) Preplaced aggregate:
Concrete-Preplaced aggregate concrete may be used advantageously for certain
types of repairs. It bonds well to concrete and has low drying shrinkage. It is also
well adapted to underwater repairs. This is a specialized process which is described
(d) Shotcrete
Shotcrete has excellent bond with new or old concrete and is frequently the most
satisfactory and economical method of making shallow repairs. It is particularly
adapted to vertical or overhead surfaces where it is capable of supporting itself
(without a form) without sagging or sloughing. Shotcrete repairs generally perform
satisfactorily where recommended procedures are followed." Simplified equipment
has been developed for use in small repairs.

4. Preparations for repair

All deteriorated or defective concrete must be removed; in the case of slabs,
suitable mechanical scarification equipment should be used. Next, the surfaces of
the concrete must be thoroughly cleaned.
The bonding surface should have been previously wet down, but should be dry at
the time of patching. The dry surface should be carefully coated with a layer of
mortar about 3 mm thick, or with another suitable bonding agent. The bonding agent
that will be used should be approved by the Engineer. The repair should proceed
5. Appearance
In concrete where appearance is important, particular care should be taken to
insure that the texture and colour of the repair will match the surrounding concrete. A
proper blend of white cement with the job cement will enable the patch to come close
to matching the colour of the original concrete. A patch on a formed concrete surface
should never be finished with a steel trowel, since this produces a dark colour which
is impossible to remove.
6. Curing
All patches (except where epoxy mortar or epoxy concrete is used) must be
properly cured to assure proper hydration of the cement and durable concrete or
mortar. The recommendations of Part 7.3 of this MS should be followed or specific
instructions given by the supplier of the repair material.
The decision of whether a crack should be repaired to restore structural integrity or
merely sealed is dependent on the nature of the structure and the cause of the
crack, and upon its location and extent. If the stresses which caused the crack have
been relieved by its occurrence, the structural integrity can be restored with some
expectation of permanency. However, in the case of working cracks (such as cracks
caused by foundation movements, or cracks which open and close from temperature
changes), the only satisfactory solution is to seal them with a flexible or extensible
Thorough cleaning of the crack is essential before any treatment takes place. All
loose concrete, oil joint sealant, and other foreign material must be removed. The
method of cleaning is dependent upon the size of the crack and the nature of the
contaminants. It may include any combination of the following: compressed air, wire
brushing, sandblasting, routing, or the use of picks or similar tools.
Restoration of structural integrity across a crack has been successfully
accomplished using pressure and vacuum injection of low viscosity epoxies and
other monomers which polymerize in situ and rebond the parent concrete.

Sealing of cracks without restoration of structural integrity requires the use of

materials and techniques similar to those used in sealing joints.