Prefab concrete fences shouldn’t need frequent repairs – that’s one of their significant benefits. However, if your wall does get damaged, it’s best to tackle the repair job ASAP. Getting it done quicker, keeps the repair job small and manageable. Waiting could turn the problem into a big problem. Once you fix a problem, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect the area and make sure the repair is doing okay.
Fixing the Footing
Rarely, concrete footings can crack or move. Your best option, in this case, is to replace the whole footing and support post. Remove the concrete panels – you will probably need to hire a forklift or crane for this job, dig out the footing, and replace it with new concrete.
If the footing is earth and gravel backfill, you will still need to replace the footing and replumb the support post. Sometimes, the issue can come from using poor quality backfill in the first place. Backfilling with better quality and correctly tamping down the new backfill will likely remove the problem.
Dealing with Water Intrusion
Water can cause substantial damage, especially if you live in an area that freezes, so water intrusion should be dealt with quickly. Precast concrete panels showing water damage often tell you that the wall was not built or sealed right. Very rarely, improperly poured concrete could be the source of the water intrusion problem.
Incorrect concrete vibrated into place after pouring could create voids that water can seep through. Cold joints, where new concrete is poured on old concrete, are a huge problem too. Both shouldn’t be an issue when using precast concrete. The process to create precast concrete panels can be tightly controlled, which stops issues like cold joints from happening. Every panel should be inspected before they are shipped to you – keeping any problems that might occur from ending up in the final product.
Repair Cracks using the Injection Process
Cracks are usually the number one problem with concrete products. If you see cracks, talk to the manufacturer, as they can sometimes help you with advice. The injection process is the most common repair for cracks. Using a caulk gun, inject an epoxy or urethane resin into the crack – working from inside to outside and top to bottom.
Epoxy is strong enough to repair the structural integrity of the wall. Urethane will stop water from moving through the crack, but it’s flexible so that the wall will be more prone to damage in the future. Epoxy only works well for clean cracks, while urethane will work better on older cracks that have been repaired before or are dirty.
If you notice the cracks are bulging, unusually large, or that they keep coming back, it’s best to have the wall evaluated by a professional. These could indicate a structural problem that will need a closer look.
If the job gets too big, it’s best to find a professional to help out. Small repairs are manageable (if you have the necessary skills). When in doubt, find help. It’s better to pay now for a professional than pay the expert for the original repair and fixing your mistakes.
Contact American Precast if you find yourself struggling to fix repairs. American Precast will help repair your fence and having it looking brand new in no time.