Concrete Structural Repairs have come a long way in the last 40 years since proprietary repair mortars came into use. The greatest benefit of these mortars are their adhesion and non-shrink properties which helps them stay where they are placed.
When we started 37 years ago, these products were so new and expensive, we charged by the cubic inch for the repairs. Crazy.
Engineers have learned a lot about concrete structural repairs since then and now, they allow much cheaper and more standard materials in many applications. Or at least some do. Others still specify the much more expensive products. Some even specify old-fashioned means and methods which are well proven in the marketplace, easier to use, and cheaper.
Old Verses New
A 98 year bridge study found that the best performing bridge coating was the old fashioned “Red Lead”. Why? because it was idiot-proof and was virtually impossible to apply so badly it didn’t work.
Some of the newer coatings such as inorganic zincs, epoxies and urethanes are so difficult to apply and so sensitive to surface and atmospheric conditions, they often don’t perform as well as the old products, even though they may be ten times more expensive.
The Right Engineer
Because engineers specialize in different areas of design, its’ very important to hire the right Structural Engineer for a repair project. But how do you know which one is the right one? and the right contractor who is aware of both the new and the old ways of doing things.