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Concrete Maintenance Strategies


This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is effective concrete maintenance.

Implementing a comprehensive concrete-maintenance strategy can help managers prevent costly and potentially dangerous problems related to concrete parking areas and sidewalks, and it can extend their performance lives. Managers should schedule inspections every one to two years to compile information on defects and establish the pavement’s deterioration rate. The inspector should separate paved areas into sections based on conditions and use.

Typical defects and problems in concrete pavements generally fall into three categories — surface defects, surface deformation, and cracking. It is important for managers to distinguish the severity and frequency of the defect throughout each section.

Repairs to these defects can be very costly. The most cost-effective repair and preventive-maintenance method is sealing joints and cracks. Studies have shown that large amounts of water entering pavement through open cracks and joints can severely damage the surface and shorten service life.

Depending on existing pavement conditions, workers should perform certain repairs before applying the sealant. Such repairs include:
• full- and partial-depth repairs to corner cracks and joint spalls
• improvements to subsurface and roadside drainage
• mud jacking of faulty pavement
• and grinding of the pavement to provide a smooth surface or improve traction.

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