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How To Fix And Reinforce A Cracked Support Beam

Have you ever wondered what a crack on your wall is? Is it a sign that you need to repaint your home? Or is it a sign that a support beam is about to give way? Despite the fact that these cracks can be dangerous, and you may not know what to do, don't panic! We did the research to provide you with the solution.

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 Here are three ways to fix and reinforce a cracked support beam:                                       

  1. Use epoxy resin glue to repair the cracks.
  2. Repair the beam with reinforcing bars and steel plates.
  3. Add a layer of concrete for strength and durability.

You can find the best solution if you are knowledgeable about the reasons cracks may appear in your support beam. Keep reading this article to determine the best way to fix and repair your cracked support beam to prevent it from collapsing.

Earthquake failure column many cracks, How To Fix And Reinforce A Cracked Support Beam

Fixing And Reinforcing A Cracked Support Beam

Your concrete beam may be vulnerable to cracking due to changes in temperature or moisture levels. If you see any cracks in your concrete beams, it's important to take action quickly to avert future harm.

Building earthquake huge cracks

Cracks often appear in the form of horizontal or vertical lines or holes in a beam that support the floor above it. To fix this problem, you can try doing these steps:

1. Use epoxy resin glue to repair the cracks

Filling a crack in cement wall

If the cracks are relatively small, you can do the repair by filling them with epoxy resin glue and allowing it to cure for 24 hours before filling them with concrete for added strength and durability. This will prevent further cracking and make your concrete stronger.

Remove all loose concrete and sand from the cracks. Fill the cracks with epoxy resin glue, making sure to cover both sides of the crack. As stated above, you should allow the glue to cure for at least 24 hours before filling it with concrete.

2. Repair the beam with reinforcing bars and steel plates

Repairing a beam with reinforcing bars and steel plates is an effective method for reinforcing concrete beams. It involves inserting a strand or bar into a drilled hole in the concrete. A compressive force is applied and adequate anchorage is given for the pre-stressing steel.

3. Add a layer of concrete for strength and durability

Wall Repair fixing cracks by earthquake

Add a layer of concrete over the existing one using steel plates and rebar as reinforcement. The first step to repairing a cracked concrete beam is to cut out the bad section of the beam and remove the rebar and steel plates from inside.

Reinforce the existing rebar with new rebar and steel plates. Finally, pour concrete over the top of the existing beam.

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Beam Repair Techniques

Many efficient procedures for strengthening and repairing have been developed as a result of the development of new materials with superior mechanical properties and excellent resistance to destructive forces.

Ferrocement, section expansion, epoxy injection, and cement grouting are the four techniques typically used to treat cracking issues.

Ferrocement

Ferrocement is an iron-reinforced concrete with very high resistance to fire, heat, and abrasion. It uses iron as reinforcement, replacing the woven steel wire used in normal reinforced concrete. This provides greater strength and stability than concrete alone.

Section Expansion

The section expansion technique allows for concrete to swell and shrink as temperatures change. It also allows for movement in both longitudinal and lateral directions, adapting to the structure’s movements. This is an ideal way to protect concrete from cracking.

Epoxy Injection

The epoxy injection technique is a quick and simple way to fix structural cracks. Epoxy injection is a proven technology used to effectively repair cracks in concrete slabs.

Inject water-resistant epoxy resins into the crack or void to close it and improve the appearance of the slab.

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Cement Grouting

Grout is a cement-based material used for filling in cracks and voids in concrete. Cement grout is a fine, fast-curing material used to fill and seal concrete cracks, joints, and voids.

The process involves filling cracks in concrete using a mixture of waterproof cement and sand that hardens after it is applied.

Determining Damage Based On Crack Size

Earthquake failure column cracks on beam

It's important to make sure that any cracks in your support beams are not worrisome. You can actually determine how severe the damage is based on the crack size. Here are categories that can help you detect whether your support beam is problematic:

  • Less than .004 to .04 inch: Hairline cracks, no repair needed or typically treated using wall finishes.
  • Up to 0.2 inch: Although it may not always be apparent from the outside, doors and windows can be adjusted to avoid sticking and can be concealed by appropriate linings.
  • Around 0.2 to 0.6 inch: Service pipes and weather tightness can both be compromised. External brickwork could require replacement or repointing.
  • Approximately 0.6 to 1 inch: Extensive damage; walls lean or sag dramatically, window and door frames become deformed. Requires replacement of wall parts.
  • More than 1 inch: This may need a major repair. The wall structure is fragile, and beams lose their bearing. Walls may need to be shored.

What Are The Causes Of Cracked Beams?

Peeled off plaster on a column of an old house

Cracked beams often occur at the concrete joints of a building. These are caused by several factors, including increased shear stress, insufficient concrete coating, and bending.

1. Crack beams as a result of increased shear stress

When there is an excessive shear force in one direction, shear cracks are created. The shear stress is typically caused by an earthquake. These cracks are usually found near support like a wall or column. 

2. Crack beams due to increased bending

Cracks in beams may be caused by an increase in bending. You can avoid cracking beams due to bending by placing sufficient main reinforcement near the middle of the beam.

3. Cracks caused by insufficient concrete coating

The main objective of concrete coating is to protect the concrete surface from damage, which includes cracks. If there's not enough concrete coating on the surface of your concrete, it's more likely to crack.

How To Prevent Concrete Cracking

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. It's strong and durable, but cracking can be a problem. As with any building material, cracks may develop in your concrete walls, floors, or foundation. Here are some tips to prevent concrete from cracking:

  1. Begin with a solid subgrade. Subgrades and subbases are the layers of material beneath a concrete slab that provide support and serve as a foundation. A good subgrade should be able to withstand significant pressure and weight.
  2. Adjust the concrete mix to a low water-to-cement ratio. This can help avoid cracking issues. You can also use concrete admixtures that are designed to control cracking, like rebind for movement and providing overall strength.
  3. It is crucial to actively choose the locations of control joints. Control joints are an extra step in laying tile that helps prevent cracks and minimize future movement. Allowing other trades to work with precise measurements and a straight line ensures that everything stays in balance and your home endures the test of time.
  4. Curing means letting water penetrate deep into the slab and evaporate into the ground, which allows the concrete to cure and harden properly. Proper curing of concrete slabs is important because it prevents the surface from developing water stains and other problems that can occur over time.

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In Closing

Earthquake failure column many cracks

If you're planning to have a new building constructed, or if you have an existing building that needs some repairs, you should know what can cause cracks in your beams.

A cracked support beam can make your entire structure unstable and cause serious damage, so it's important to take any cracks seriously and be prepared to repair them quickly.

You may now be able to pinpoint the exact reason why your support beam cracked and how to repair it. Use the tips listed in this article to prevent your support beams from cracking in the future.

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