Effective Concrete Maintenance Strategies

  February 3, 2012

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, effective concrete maintenance strategies.

Managers seeking to effectively maintain concrete parking lots around their facilities are constantly looking for the right mix of preventive maintenance and major restoration. The longer problems such as potholes remain unattended, the larger they become and the deeper into the base they penetrate, resulting in safety issues and costly repairs.

One key to effective concrete repairs is selecting the most appropriate repair method, which includes specifying the proper material based on the surface and on conditions at the repair site.

For example, managers need to select concrete sealants and coatings that are formulated for either wet or dry conditions. Extensive independent testing has shown that epoxies, siloxane/silane materials, and high-molecular-weight methacrylates are the best types of material for controlling the deterioration of concrete where freezing and thawing occur repeatedly and water is present.

Workers should inspect sections of concrete that most often deteriorate from freezing weather. These sections include exposed surfaces, such as posts, handrails, piers, parapets, and the top 2 feet of walls.

As with any other asset, concrete and asphalt surfaces need periodic inspection and preventive maintenance to ensure sustainability and lower life-cycle costs. Annual inspections are the most economical way to retain and improve the value of the asset.

The best preventive maintenance for asphalt is applying a sealant. Workers should reseal new asphalt between 90 days and one year after placement. This practice locks in the binder, keeps the pavement flexible, and prevents cracks and further degradation, which can destroy the surface and the base.


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