Expansion Joint Repair ( A Complete Guide)

Expansion Joint Wear and Damage

An expansion joint is commonly located on structures such as bridges, highways and sidewalks. An expansion joint is a mid-structure separation designed to absorb vibration, join objects, or allow movement. In structures, expansion joints can help absorb the expansion and contraction of concrete slabs as a result of temperature changes. Without expansion joints, the concrete can crack or distort. However, expansion joints on their own are susceptible to failure. A major issue is incompressible materials that lock the joints and create stresses that may cause concrete spalling or shattering. As a result, seals are frequently installed in expansion joints to prevent incompressible debris from entering the joint. Two types of common seals are strip seals and compression seals.

Belzona Expansion Joint Repair

Conventional Expansion Joint Seals

Strip seals are flexible neoprene membranes adhered to the joint walls. They adhere well and prevent water ingress, but the seals can tear and disjoin under traffic if incompressible debris settles on top. Compression seals are neoprene or cellular seals in the form of a series of webs that provide outward pressure against joint walls to hold the seal in place. They are ready for use out of manufacturing, meaning no mixing or curing is necessary. The seals need to be correctly sized to maintain the pressure against the walls, but the seal can still disjoin with the loss of elasticity over time.

Why are expansion joint repairs necessary?

Seals commonly fail due to adhesion loss and cohesion loss. Adhesion loss is evident when detachment of the seal from joint walls occurs. Adhesion loss is the loss of bond between the sealant and joint walls. Cohesion loss is evident when a tear on or in the seal occurs. Cohesion loss is the loss of internal bond in the sealant.

Expansion joint repairs using the Belzona Solution

Conventional expansion joint seals have their own individual disadvantages and common failures. Belzona provides polyurethane sealants that protect expansion joints from incompressible debris while offering advantageous mechanical properties including high movement capability, high elastic recovery, and high abrasion resistance. In addition, Belzona polyurethane sealants contain low odours and adhere well to a range of substrates.

In our previous blog post  “In Action: Repairing Failed Expansion Joints in Healthcare”, we introduced an expansion joint repair method called “Smooth Ride”, mostly applicable to hospitals. In this blog post, we demonstrate an expansion joint repair that can apply to any industry and any type of concrete joint.

Video: How to Fix a Failing Expansion Joint with Belzona

For this repair, we used:

Additionally, we utilized Belzona 9111 (Cleaner/Degreaser) to clean the substrate, Belzona 9411 (Release Agent) to be applied to the wooden batten, a handheld grinder and a pole sander to prepare the substrate, and a mixer for preparing Belzona 4111.

Step-by-step instructions of expansion joint repair

  1. Remove all existing material

    Using a grinder with a round disc, remove all existing material and vee out the edges of the nosings.Grinding out expansion joint

  2. Remove all debris

    Vacuum all the debris and dust.Vacuum

  3. Roughen the surface

    Abrade the edges and the surface with a pole sander.Abrade expansion joint

  4. Clean the surface

    Thoroughly clean the surface with a cleaner/degreaser.clean expansion joint

  5. Condition the Repair Surface

    Thoroughly mix Belzona 4911 (Magma TX Conditioner) and brush it over the entire repair area.Belzona 4911 application

  6. Insert wooden batten

    Apply Belzona 9411 (Release Agent) onto the wooden batten and position it in the joint.Expanion joint repair

  7. Mix Belzona 4111

    Thoroughly mix Belzona 4151 Base and Solidifier until a homogeneous mix is achieved. Slowly add Belzona 4111 Aggregate into the mix until the desired consistency is obtained.Belzona 4111 been mixed

  8. Trowel mixed Belzona 4111

    Trowel mixed Belzona 4111 up to the former to rebuild the expansion joint nosings. Make sure to fill in all the empty spaces with the mixed product.
    apply 4111

  9. Press Down Firmly

    Pack Belzona product down firmly to avoid air pockets formation.Expansion joint leveling

  10. Remove the batten

    Once the Belzona product has cured, carefully remove the wooden former from the joint.expansion joint repairing

  11. Insert backer rod

    Insert pre-measured foam backer rod into the joint.inster backer rod expasnion joint

  12. Condition the Joint

    Using Belzona 2911, condition the internal parts of the joint.Applicaton conditioning expasion joint

  13. Fill the joint

    Pour mixed Belzona 2221 to fill the joint.
    Epoxy expansion joint repair

  14. Smooth Out

    Smooth out the surface, leaving it slightly concave.Smoothing rubber expansion joint

  15. Mix Belzona 5231

    Thoroughly mix Belzona 5231 Base and Solidifier until a uniform color is achieved.

  16. Apply mixed Belzona 5231

    Using a conventional paint roller, apply mixed Belzona 5231 over the expansion joint repair area.

  17. Application Complete

    Remove all tape masking the joint and the repair area. The application is now complete!rubber expansion joint peel

Belzona’s epoxy solutions can be used to repair failing expansion joints. Belzona also offer solutions to an extensive range of engineering problems and repair situations.

Interested in purchasing Belzona’s epoxy-based composites?

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. keyvan.ghasemzadeh

    Hi, In order to resist 98% sulfuric acid, we need a kind of vinyl ester resin that is resistant to the corrosiveness of this acid.
    I did not find such a product in Hetron and Sancor products
    If you have such a product in Belzona products? which is 98% resistant to sulfuric acid
    Please introduce Belzona with complete analysis and technical data

    1. Mark Docherty

      Hello Keyvan,
      For detailed information about Belzona’s products, including chemical resistance, please contact your local Distributor here: https://www.belzona.com/en/about/disfinder.aspx. They will be able to provide you with the best solution to suit your needs.
      Thank you.

  2. Greg

    Yulia, your post here is fantastic, and it will prove to be valuable for me. Now, I can fix a failing expansion joint quickly, and that’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

  3. John

    Your blog is very informative! It will help those who don’t know how to do expansion joint repair because in your videos you have explained each and every step in detail. One who is doing repair work can take help of this blog.

  4. abhishek sharma

    how can we fix a failed strip seal joint.how can I send you a picture please reply me with reason of failure and its repair

  5. Kishore K

    I’m Kishore from India, I am working in a project where we build house with precast technology and as a result after erection of elements provided with grout , we are facing seepage issue in expansion joint. Can you help me out to fit!

    1. Yulia Burova

      Dear Kishore,
      Thank you for reading our blog!
      Please feel free to contact Belzona representative in India so that you could discuss the issues with expansion joints with someone locally.
      Here is the company’s contact information.

      Nicco Engineering Services Ltd
      2, Hare Street, Nicco House
      Kolkata, West Bengal, 700001, India
      Telephone:+91 33 66285209
      Fax:+91-33-2243 0782

      Best regards,
      Belzona Team

  6. Pingback: How to Create a New Gasket with Belzona - Belzona Blog

  7. PETER JOHN Cartier

    Thank you Yulia Burova,
    I am new with Belzona California, and currently working on a client to do expansion joint repair in 62 warehouse location.

    1. Yulia Burova

      Dear Mr. Cartier,

      Thank you for your comment and reading the Belzona Blog.

      Best regards,
      Belzona Team

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