Maintenance of Precast Concrete

Maintenance of Precast Concrete

Precast Concrete is a durable and long lasting building product. If properly maintained it will stand the test of time.

The beauty of precast concrete with its variety of colours and textures, together with its versatility and function, is an integral component of the building envelope.

By following a simple program of inspection and maintenance precast concrete can guarantee the designed service life of a building.

To ensure the continued performance of the wall system and to maintain the warranty, visual inspections should be carried out at regular intervals. It is recommended that these inspections be carried out annually.

Attention should be paid to the caulked joints, surface appearance and connections. Any signs of deterioration should be documented at once with a copy of the written report sent to the manufacturer. Any applicable defects reported within the warranty period shall be remedied by the manufacturer.

The owner is urged to maintain this annual inspection program past the warranty period in order to optimize the life of the structure.

Maintenance and Protection Recommendations

  1. After a building is completed the new precast panels should be cleaned down and a matt finish clear sealer applied to the surface. This will keep the surface in pristine condition, prevent airborne grime adhering to the surface and allow for easy cleaning by hosing down every year or so.
  2. Precast expands and contracts. Ensure the precast joints are properly sealed.
  3. If a sealer has not been applied, the precast should be power-washed every four to six years (based on the effects of the environment such as acid rain) to maintain its original appearance.
  4. If pigment is used in the manufacture of the precast units, a non-acid cleaning treatment is recommended.
  5. Damaged (i.e. split or cracked) joint caulking should be replaced by:
    • Removing damaged caulking
    • Cleaning area with solvent to remove oil debris
    • Applying primer as required
    • Re-caulk with matching caulking as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Follow applicable by-laws regarding use of grit-blasting or acid cleaning procedures.
  7. If using acid to clean surfaces, pre-test a sample to ensure precast units will not be damaged by the treatment.
  8. Precautions should be taken to avoid damaging or staining precast units by:
    • Ensuring access equipment does not scratch or chip precast surfaces.
    • Ensuring window cleaning solution (“run-off”) is cleaned from precast units to prevent staining.