Requirements for Maintenance of Concrete Surfaces in Apartment Complexes and Housing Projects

View of public concrete courtyard with newly built modern block

If you own a large apartment complex or housing project you understand firsthand the issues associated with maintaining and fixing cracks and damage done to your concrete structures. You also understand that in order to maintain the aesthetics of your property you need to perform certain maintenance routines in order to protect the integrity of your concrete structures and prevent breaks, cracks and other structural damage from permeating the structures and resulting in an even more costly repair.

Here is some information that should provide you with some helpful tips regarding maintenance and quick repairs of any damaged concrete structure on your property. These tips include what parts of your concrete structures are most vulnerable to breakdowns, the reason why quick repairs are important and what your legal exposure could be if necessary repairs and maintenance work is not performed.

Areas of Concrete Structures that are Vulnerable to Breaks

Concrete is made from a process involving the mixture of a paste consisting cement and water and rocks or an aggregate material such as sand. According to Portland Cement Organization, an industry trade organization, a proper concrete mix consists of 6 percent air, 11 percent Portland cement, 41 percent gravel or crushed stone, 26 percent sand and 16 percent water. A chemical process known as hydration hardens the paste and creates the finished concrete material.

Although the process of making concrete is an age old process, the proportion of water to cement and the conditions under which hydration takes place will determine the relative strength and durability of the concrete and its potential to break down over time. Concrete that is poured without proper joints or breaks will develop cracks more easily than concrete surfaces that allow for changes in volume (caused by shrinkage) over time.

The Importance of Quick Repairs

When cracks and breaks begin to appear in the concrete around your commercial building, such as an apartment or housing complex, it is important to apply some type of fix as soon as possible. One of the easiest fixes that can be applied to your concrete structures involves the removal of all loose material and debris near the site of the crack. A screwdriver followed by a wire brush works the best to remove loose debris, followed by a vigorous broom sweep or leaf blower.

Applying a polyurethane caulk sealant or similar concrete repair epoxy.

How important is it for you to quickly repair structural damage to your concrete structures? The difference between a quick repair and a major replacement is the difference between a few dollars of prevention and thousands of dollars of cure, depending on the amount of apartment complex walkway resurfacing or repair is required. A simple repair through the use of a diligent repair and maintenance schedule can save you up to a third of the cost of a major replacement of the concrete surface.

Liability Issues for not Repairing Concrete Structures

You could face certain legal liabilities arising from damage that occurs from defective or improperly poured concrete or concrete that has not been properly maintained over the course of time. If the improper maintenance of a concrete structure were to lead to damage caused to the personal property of a tenant or injury, you may be required under your Commercial General Liability (CGL) or Homeowners special policy form (HO-3) insurance coverage to pay claims arising from any loss experienced. You may also have legal obligations that may arise from a lawsuit filed against you for intended loss that may arise from having to engage in a major repair of your concrete structures, which could have been avoided through routine repair and maintenance.

Keep a proper schedule for repair and maintenance of your concrete structures to avoid more costly future repairs or the legal issues that may otherwise be diverted.

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