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SIDEBAR: Concrete Maintenance Matters
Concrete: Maintenance Matters
Regular maintenance is the key to trouble-free concrete. In addition to annual inspections, maintenance and engineering managers can take several relatively painless steps that will improve performance and reduce overall costs.
For exposed concrete surfaces, such as sidewalks and drive aprons, regular cleaning prevents the buildup of dirt and grime, materials that can create hazards for pedestrians. The frequency with which workers need to clean these surfaces depend on the site conditions. At least annually, workers should remove stains from concrete surfaces.
For concrete parking garages, workers should use a machine each week to sweep all drive and parking areas. Every six months, they should check all floor drains for free flow and clean them if necessary. At that same time, they can wash the drive and parking areas.
For building envelope components, annual cleaning might be required, depending on the local environment. Workers need to remove stains and graffiti as quickly as possible. Also, every six months they should inspect all concrete joints and reseal them as necessary to prevent water intrusion.
Departments need to take any signs of corrosion in reinforcing steel seriously and deal with them as quickly as possible.
— James Piper, P.E.