Repairs are sometimes known as ‘patch repair’ when the area to be treated is small and ‘skin repair’ when, for example, the whole side of a member is to be broken out and reinstated. Reinstatement with concrete or mortar can take several different forms depending on the size of the area being repaired and the means of applying the chosen repair material. There are basic steps that are common to all of the forms of reinstatement:
- Breaking out
- Cleaning the exposed reinforcement and substrate
- Applying protective coating to exposed reinforcement
- Soaking or applying bonding aid to substrate
Reinstatement with concrete or mortar is by far the most common repair technique in use today. It is used principally to repair concrete structures damaged by reinforcement corrosion (which is the most common form of damage) but the technique is versatile and can also be used in other types of damage. It is often used in conjunction with other techniques, e.g. surface coatings, cathodic protection.
A limitation of the technique is that it treats the symptoms but not the underlying causes such as reinforcement corrosion. Reinstatement, on its own, is a perfectly valid but it needs to be carried out in the knowledge that it may not be a ‘one-off’ solution and that further repairs will become necessary in the future.