The Bridge Repair Dilemma

Preventative maintenance on bridge decks is especially important given that temperature changes cause the decks to expand and contract, eventually leading to cracks that allow water and de-icing materials to penetrate the surface.  These factors combined with the punishing effects of heavy traffic such as vibrating movement and grinding wear, underscore the need to maintain a waterproof membrane to prevent corrosion of the concrete and steel elements.  As wear occurs, safety concerns must be addressed to ensure friction standards are restored and hydroplaning caused by rutting in wheel paths is prevented.  With the tremendous initial costs of erecting a bridge and replacing a bridge that has become a safety concern, protecting the investment makes a lot more sense.


Because effective, economical repair options have been unavailable and maintenance budgets are far too stretched, concrete bridges have often been patched with asphalt.  This is like putting cotton in a tooth cavity.  Patching a crack with asphalt, which is porous, still allows water, salts, and de-icing products to seep into the bridge's infrastructure and attack the rebar.


Bridge Repair Solution: Tuffseal

Repairing problem areas, filling cracks, and resurfacing with Tuffseal, on the other hand, provides a durable, waterproof membrane.  If there is only room in the current budget to patch problem areas, Tuffseal will provide superb adhesion to the existing deck and will prevent water from entering the edges of a patched area.  A bridge repaired and resurfaced with Tuffseal not only enables the bridge deck to withstand attacks water makes on the surface course, it provides a smooth running course with increased friction for safety.


To repair a bridge using Tuffseal, the first step is to clean the surface and cracks by sweeping, washing and rinsing.  Then the cracks are ready to be filled in with a thickened blend of Tuffseal.  At this point a standard blend of Tuffseal is applied at only 1/8" thick completely sealing the surface course from any further damage.

A second layer is then applied with a tined surface that increases skid resistance and provides anti-spray characteristics.


Even though Tuffseal's unique blend of polymers and Portland cement will provide a durable, long-term surface, traffic will eventually polish the aggregate and create the need for restoring friction numbers. At that point, an additional coat of Tuffseal can be applied using aggregate suitable to meet desired friction specifications, as  the material adheres to itself beautifully.  Without a doubt, repairing a bridge deck with Tuffseal will greatly extend the life cycle - not only that, it looks great, is environmentally friendly, and provides the most economical quality repair available on the market!

Advantages of tuffseal specific to bridge deck resurfacing
  • Suitable for repair of spalled/failed areas before the deck is resurfaced
  • Two-coat system, with top coat tinned to provide even higher skid resistance and anti-spray/splash surface
  • Lightweight surface treatment (two - 1/8 of an inch each) adding negligible dead load to the structure, provides solution to repair bridges without adding significant weight to the bridge and dramatically reducing its carrying capacity
  • Completely resistant to de-icing products/salt, protecting the deck reinforcing from moisture and salt penetration.
  • Traffic back on surface within an hour of installation of either coat in warm weather (traffic may be safely placed on first coat before second, tinned coat is applied)
  • Bonds to itself, allowing for inexpensive repair of any small areas years after the initial installation without any removal of the remaining material
  • Is not susceptible to UV attack and has excellent flexural strength to help prevent subsequent cracking and deterioration associated with many bridge deck resurfacing products.
  • Environmentally green micro overlay provides smooth transition for traffic from road to bridge

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