DURACRETE: Patch & Repair

Nine-Story Condominium Rehab: Corpus Christi, TX



Some years ago, regional sales manager Mike Tucker from our Texas region was asked to consult on a concrete patch and repair spec for a nine-story condo renovation project in North Beach, Corpus Christi, TX. An initial survey of the project identified severely damaged walkway decks and concrete post and beam supports surrounding the majority of the aging structure. The humid salt water air had taken its toll, and the result was spalling and surface deterioration over much of the exposed concrete structure. The building owner and architect knew they had to effectively repair this damage before going on with the remainder of the re-hab, renovation and remodeling (both inside and out). A local area contractor was selected to do the concrete repair. Duracrete was selected as the primary repair material.

This major project was a collaboration with the home owners association, the L&M distributor-supplier, general contractor, architect and the L&M sales manager. Nearly a decade later, this repair project still remains vibrant and solid. This extremely versatile product “saved the day” said Mike Tucker, the sales manager from L&M. He received on-the-job testimonials from building owners and contractors alike. Tucker said, “Products like Duracrete give me the confidence to help distributors and contractors pick a product that WORKS. I love it when everyone's happy.”

Tucker continued,"The climate and ocean views at the condo are beautiful and inviting, painting a compelling reason for renters to live in the area. But the relentless winds and salt water can be damaging to exposed concrete. This large project remains a testament to DURACRETE's effective and long-lasting durability to withstand the elements."

The versatile working characteristics of Duracrete made for a simple one-product repair procedure. Single component Duracrete is easily mixed with water, varying the water content to adjust for the conditions of the repair. On this project it was used in both thick and feather-edge, horizontal and vertical voids --- even overhead. The long lasting advanced acrylic polymers that are an important ingredient insure a tenacious and long term bond.

After installation, the DURACRETE repairs and remaining exposed concrete surfaces were treated with invisible, water-repellent, AQUAPEL.

AQUAPEL protects concrete from moisture and damaging salt attacks. "Protecting the rehab project with AQUAPEL was a great one-two punch to ward off future damage and deterioration. After eight years this DURACRETE job looks as good as day one."

DURACRETE: Artistic Medium

The Spirit of Wittenberg: An American Fresco


Questions: What is a fresco? Why are there so few in America? How did one come to be in Wittenberg, Wisconsin? How did the L&M DURACRETE product play an active role in revitalizing a struggling, rural village? The following answers to these questions are both inspiring and important to rural America demonstrating the strength, artistic spirit and perseverance of its people.

First of all, a fresco (fres-co) is a painting done rapidly in watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colors penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries. Its origin began in the late 16th century: the word literally means, 'cool, fresh'.

What does DURACRETE have to do with fresco art? Most of the world's fresco art has been located in warmer or temperate-mild climates where there are no significant freeze/thaw issues. Fact is that Wittenberg, Wisconsin has some pretty harsh winters.

For Rojas to use his favorite art medium, he had to find a cement based mortar that not only had the texture, strength and vertical holding tenacity to be able to adhere to masonry, concrete and mortar, it had to be highly resistant to a freeze/thaw environment. Voila! Enter DURACRETE.

The next step for Rojas was experiment with the selected materials to create the fresco texture and the 3-dimensional effect of this ancient medium. He had to separate the painted mediums from the building patterns. This was not an easy task. As an artistically-driven risk taker, Rojas stepped out of the box of a traditional artist's materials palette to find exactly the right recipe, combining pure color pigments with the high strength, feather-edge finishing properties of Duracete.

With the help of the technical staff at L&M and regional manager, Craig Jared, Rojas experimented to discover a new use for DURACRETE to create a fresco. What at first seemed insurmountable became a creative stepping stone. Through the use of DURACRETE, Rojas was able to combine Old World techniques of fresco painting with modern materials by adding pigments directly to the cement compound, then molding it and shaping it as it hardened.

Ram Rojas at work.
Ram's compositional challenge was to unite all four walls harmoniously as one canvas, so that the fresco could be viewed as a single work.

A fresco in America happened because of a uniquely multi-talented artist moving to Wittenberg, Wisconsin. Ram Rojas has traveled the world doing his art. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, studied in Europe, India, South America, New York, Pennsylvania and California. He now makes his home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin...a town of 1000 residents nestled in the beautiful countryside of rural northeastern Wisconsin. Ram said, “I like small towns, the closeness of a small community where you know everybody and everybody knows you.”

And so, the story begins.



Ram used DURACRETE compound with just the right amounts of color pigments, applied with a palette knife.

He had to move quickly for the fresco effect to be kept fluent and for the surfaces to be bonded permanently.

The 2 ˝ story wall showing the seven point star and the seven churches, the cherubs and the angel. This wall commemorates the multi-denominational scope of Wittenberg's original churches when the city was formed.

The 2 ˝ story fresco'd “Angel” stands as a sentinel over the hills of Wittenberg, Wisconsin.

Three dimensional effects of fresco can be seen here. Note the deep, textured relief shown in this beautiful use of DURACRETE as a fresco medium.



This unique product has many applications. A single component, polymer-reinforced, high-strength, cement-based patching and repair mortar. Duracrete has been designed to repair, slope or level structurally sound, concrete surfaces that are pitted, worn, scaled or spalled.

In addition, this product can be sculpted to repair concrete members and deep voids. This patching and repair mortar is effective in both interior and exterior applications.

When properly applied, Duracrete will produce a strong, durable, well-bonded surface of desired texture.

More about Duracrete at LMCC.com

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© 2012 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Summer 2012.

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