Back-to-the Basics Repair of Concrete

Is there anything wrong with learning from source material that is well over thirty-years old? When it comes to structural repair, the answer is no. Repair is as much an art as an engineering science, a statement that is echoed throughout the seminar manual “Back-to-the Basics Repair of Concrete” supplied by ACI in 1986. The articles and case studies present practice-applicable discussions on concrete cracks, assessments, and repair methods.


Here is a listing of the material in the manual with a few quick notes on the outstanding contributions:

  • Crack width, cover, and corrosion
    • This is a transcribed debate. It’s worth a read if you are interested in the development of the crack control parameters in A23 or ACI 318.
  • Understanding the Cause of Cracking in Concrete: A Diagnostic Aid
    • A theoretical overview of fracture mechanics.
  • Verification of Structural Adequacy
    • This article gives a good checklist for condition surveys
  • Causes and Remedies of Distress – Three Case Histories
    • A good case study on corbel failures and the necessity for preventing cracks through good design
  • Cracking of Concrete – Who Cares?
    • A casually written and insightful discussion on cracks
  • Inspection, Analysis, and Restoration of MIT Kresge Auditorium
    • A detailed case study of a repair project on a shell structure.
  • Repairs of Concrete Columns, Spandrels, and Balconies on a High-Rise Housing Complex in Chicago
    • A short review of corrosion repair using an acrylic-modified concrete and epoxy mortar.
  • Cathodic Protection: Repairing a Parking Structure
  • Repair of columns using collars with circular reinforcement
    • A detailed overview of the analysis and performance of collared columns
  • Hospital strengthened with exterior concrete shearwalls
    • A seismic upgrading case study on a hospital. This is good background for the ongoing need to upgrade many critical structures (hospitals, schools, etc.) while still maintaining the accessibility of the structure during the repair.
  • Injection Process Halts Bridge Deterioration
  • Repairs and Restoration of Reinforced Concrete Columns
  • Parking garage repaired using thin polymer concrete overlay
  • Cathodic Protection: A Solution to Rebar Corrosion

I reviewed this manual while completing ACI’s (current) “Repair Application Procedures” certificate program. Both resources give helpful strategies for concrete repair work and understanding the nature of cracks.

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