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Repair of Spalling (in general)


Repair of spalling entails removing the loose, deteriorated concrete and installing a compatible patch that dovetails into the existing sound concrete.


In order to prevent future crack development after the spall has been patched great attention must be paid to the treatment of rebars, the preparation of the existing concrete substrate, the selection of compatible patch material, the development of good contact between patch and substrate, and the curing of the patch.


Once the deteriorated concrete in a spalled area has been removed, rust on the exposed rebars must be removed by wire brush or sandblasting. An epoxy coating applied immediately over the cleaned rebars will diminish the possibility of further corrosion.


Proper preparation of the substrate will ensure a good bond between the patch and the existing concrete. If a large, clean break or other smooth surface is to be patched, the contact area should be roughened with a hammer and chisel. In all cases, the substrate should be kept moist with wet rags, sponges, or running water for at least an hour before placement of the patch.

Bonding between the patch and substrate can be encouraged by applying a liquid bonding agent to the surface of the substrate. Admixtures such as epoxy resins, latexes, and acrylics in the patch may also be used to increase bonding.


Compaction is difficult when the patch is ''laid-up" with a trowel without the use of forms; however, by building up thin layers of concrete, each layer can be worked with a trowel to achieve compaction. Board forms will be necessary for large patches. The patch in the form can be consolidated by rodding or vibration.


Regardless of size, a patch containing cement binder (especially Portland cement) will tend to shrink during drying. Adequate curing of the patch may be achieved by keeping it wet for several days with damp burlap bags. It should be noted that although greater amounts of sand will reduce overall shrinkage, patches with a high sand content normally will not bond well to the substrate.


Spalling before repairs

Spalling repairs finished

& prior to pouring concrete

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