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The decision to repair or replace concrete will be made on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule of thumb, contractors advise that if more than 2 inches of concrete needs repair it should probably be replaced instead. However, the size of the damaged or compromised area is not the only factor in determining whether you should repair or replace concrete.
Will the repaired portion appear drastically different from the rest of the surface? If the answer is “yes” and the compromised portion is in a highly visible place then you may be compelled to replace the entire area for the sake of aesthetic continuity.
As in “how long can you afford to have the damaged area out of commission. If the damage is in a particularly important or sensitive area you may need to simply repair the area, even if the damaged area is fairly large or a repair will create an aesthetic headache.
If the compromised section of concrete is in a difficult-to-access area where preparing for or executing a pour would be problematic you may want to simply repair the area regardless of how extensive the damage is, as long as the damage is not structural.
If demolishing an entire section of concrete and replacing it is simply not in the cards from a financial standpoint you may have to content yourself with a repair. Again, as long as the damage has not compromised the structure, a temporary repair may be the right choice.
If the subbase under the concrete has eroded due to age, weather or whatever reason a repair just won’t be feasible. Regardless of whether it fits neatly into your budget or not the compromised base will need to be addressed and replacement will be called for.
Concrete is a composite material and may deteriorate for any one of several reasons. Often times a poor installation is the cause, in the sense that not enough care was given preparing the subbase. In other cases, the concrete mix may have been substandard. Poorly placed expansion joints may also be to blame
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