Despite being a highly durable material, concrete is susceptible to damage, particularly water damage. Although concrete is porous and can absorb water, this can also result in both large and small cracks, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the concrete’s foundation, resulting in structural damage.
Whether you have a concrete parking lot, driveway, patio, or any other construct made of the material, repairing water-damaged concrete is critical to maintaining the structural integrity of your investment. In this article, we’ll examine some of the most common signs of water-damaged concrete and the steps you can take to repair water-damaged concrete.
Continue reading below to learn more and find out how McConnell & Associates can assist you with all of your premium pavement, concrete, and sport surface products and services.
Common Signs of Water-Damaged Concrete
Although moisture intrusion typically happens gradually in an affected area, which means you may not notice it right away, there are several common signs of water damage. Fortunately, detecting them early will make it easier to see how it happened, how quickly you need to address the problem, and how to repair it.
So, how does concrete react to water damage, and how can you tell when you need professional repair? Let’s look at some of the most common signs of water-damaged concrete.
Cracks in concrete can occur for a variety of reasons. While it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a water damage problem, the more fractured your concrete has become, the more vulnerable it is to additional water damage in the future.
Due to this, it’s critical to keep an eye out for surface damage (such as extensive cracking), as it will allow water to enter your already porous concrete, resulting in significant damage. Freeze/thaw and the expansion and contraction of concrete along with salts and deicers are the main causes of concrete damage.
Spalling occurs when the surface of your concrete begins to flake or pit. Excessive moisture and high temperatures contribute to spalled concrete but in the presence of cold temperatures, water trapped within the pores of the concrete freezes and expands, causing these holes to enlarge into several divots.
Another sign of water damage is discoloration. Because of the presence of water, one area of the concrete will be darker than another. As a result, if you notice darkened and discolored areas in your concrete, there’s a good chance moisture is causing damage.
Peeling is another sign of water-damaged concrete. While this can happen for various reasons, the presence of water and excessive moisture can cause the surface of the concrete to begin to chip away. Not only is this problem unsightly, but it also exposes your concrete to further damage.
Mold, like most fungi, thrives in warm, moist environments. Mold frequently forms along the edges of floors, occasionally creeping up walls, and appears as black or dark green smudges and spots. While it may appear to be dirt at first glance, mold is much more difficult to remove. As a result, it’s safe to assume that moisture has infiltrated your concrete if mold has begun to grow.
Lastly, mold isn’t the only intruder caused by excessive moisture. Condensed water vapor can also transport salt deposits, leaving a white residue beneath or on top of your concrete. This is commonly known as efflorescence, and while these deposits are usually easy to remove, they often indicate a more significant problem that needs to be addressed.
4 Steps for Repairing Water-Damaged Concrete
Although water-damaged concrete is not uncommon, leaving it unprepared will only result in more significant damage and costly repairs. Fortunately, to address and resolve the issue, you can take a few different steps.
Here are a few things you can do to repair your water-damaged concrete:
Assess the Damage
As with any water-damaged construct, the first step is to assess the extent of the water damage. This will allow you to determine whether you can fix the problem yourself or if you need to hire a professional. In some instances, if the damage is minor, you may be able to repair it yourself.
Remove Standing Water
Next, be sure to remove the area of any standing water. You can do this by setting things to drain properly. In cases where this is not possible, an underground drainage system is the solution, which McConnell & Associates can provide for you.
Determine the Extent of Repairs
Pay special attention to areas where water has pooled because they are prone to scaling, resulting in deep cracks and buckling. Remove any dirt or debris from the surface after determining the areas that require repair.
Contact a Professional Concrete Company
After assessing the damage, you should have a good idea of which parts of your concrete need to be repaired. If the damage is significant and beyond any extent of do-it-yourself repairs, you should consider contacting a professional concrete company. They will be able to assess the damage and assist you in creating a plan to remediate the problem and potentially reduce future repair expenses.
McConnell & Associates — Your Trusted Partner for Concrete Repair Services
Although concrete is highly durable in many ways, it is still susceptible to water damage. Fortunately, by understanding the common signs of water-damaged concrete and the steps you can take to repair it, you can save yourself from paying for costly repairs in the future. However, if all else fails, having a professional concrete repair company you can trust can help you protect your investment.
Since 1965, McConnell & Associates has been the Midwest’s leader in premium pavement, concrete, and sports surface products and services. Whether it’s seal coating a parking lot or repairing and restoring a concrete sidewalk, with more than 40 years of experience, McConnell & Associates and our team of experts have everything needed to make your project a success.
If you’re experiencing water-damaged concrete or think your concrete is showing signs of needing repair, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.