Mortar repair for cracks

Portland cement mortar may be used for repairing defects on surfaces not prominently exposed. where the defects are too wide for dry-pack filling or where the defects are too shallow for concrete filling, and no deeper than the far side of the reinforcement that is nearest the surface. repairs may be made either by use of shotcrete or by hand application methods, although hand application methods are generally recommended for areas subject to public view in historic preservation applications.

Replacement mortar can be used to make shallow, small-size repairs to new or green concrete, provided that the repairs are performed within 24 hours of removing the concrete forms. Accomplishing successful mortar repairs to old concrete without the use of a bonding resin is unlikely or extremely difficult. Evaporative loss of water from the surface of the repair mortar, combined with capillary water loss to the old concrete, results in unhydrated or poorly hydrated cement in the mortar.

Additionally, repair mortar bond strength development proceeds at a slower rate than compressive strength development. This causes workers to mistakenly abandon curing procedure prematurely, when the mortar seems strong. Once the mortar dries, bond strength development stops, and bond failure of the mortar patch results. For these reasons using cement mortar without a resin bond coat to repair old concrete is discouraged. A Portland cement mortar patch is usually darker than the surrounding concrete unless precautions are taken to match colours. A leaner mix will usually produce a lighter colour patch.

Preparation and materials

 Concrete to repaired with replacement mortar should first have all the deteriorated or unsound areas removed. After preparation, the areas should be cleaned, roughened if necessary and surface-dried to a saturated surface condition. The mortar should be applied immediately thereafter. Replacement mortar contains water, Portland cement and sand. The water and sand should be suitable for use in concrete, and the same should pass through a no.16 sieves. Only enough water should be added to the cement sand mixture to permit placing.


 Failure to cure properly is the most common cause of failure of replacement mortar.

 It is essential that mortar repairs receive a through water cure starting immediately after initial set and continuing for 14 days. In no event should the mortar be allowed to become dry during the 14 day period following placement. Following the 14 day water cure and while the mortar is still saturated, the surface of the mortar should be coated with two coats of a wax-base curing compound meeting reclamation specifications.


 The success of this method depends on complete removal of all defective and affected concrete, good bonding of the mortar to the concrete, elimination of shrinkage of the patch after placement, and thorough curing. Replacement mortar repairs can be made using an epoxy bonding agent; this technique is highly recommended.

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