Maintenance and Repairs

January 15, 2024 Published by South Alberta Chapter - By Jesse Macleod

Maintaining and Identifying Deficiencies in Concrete: A Guide for Condo Board Members

From the Winter 2024 issue of the CCI South Alberta CCI Review

Concrete is a fundamental component of any condominium structure, providing stability and durability. You’ll find concrete systems in many places; the foundation of your building, your parkade.

As a condo board member, ensuring the longevity and safety of your building is a top priority. Regular maintenance and prompt identification of concrete deficiencies are crucial to preserving the structural integrity of your property. In this guide, we will delve into essential tips for maintaining concrete and identifying potential issues.

Routine Inspection:

Regular inspections are the cornerstone of concrete maintenance. Establish a comprehensive inspection schedule, focusing on critical areas such as foundations, balconies, parking structures, and any other concrete elements. Consider hiring a professional structural engineer or a qualified contractor to conduct a thorough assessment annually. Timely inspections can help detect early signs of deterioration, preventing more severe problems down the line.

  1. Foundations: Check for cracks, especially those wider than 1/8 inch. Look for signs of water infiltration, as moisture can weaken the foundation over time. Monitor for settlement issues, such as uneven floors or leaning walls.
  2. Balconies and Decks: Inspect the surface for cracks, spalling, or chipping. Check for proper drainage to prevent water accumulation. Examine the railing and support structures for stability.
  3. Parking Structures: Look for cracks or delamination on the surface. Check for exposed reinforcement, which may indicate a compromised structure. Monitor for signs of water leakage from the ceiling or walls.
  4. Exterior Walls: Inspect for cracks, especially near corners and joints. Check for efflorescence, a white powdery substance that can indicate water penetration. Examine the condition of expansion joints and sealants.

Maintenance Practices:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Remove dirt, debris, and organic matter that can trap moisture and lead to deterioration. Pressure wash surfaces to prevent the buildup of contaminants
  2. Sealing and Waterproofing: Apply sealants to cracks and joints to prevent water infiltration. Consider waterproofing coatings to protect concrete surfaces from moisture.
  3. Repairs and Patching: Promptly address any visible cracks or spalling by repairing and patching. Use high-quality materials compatible with existing concrete for lasting repairs.
  4. Reinforcement Protection: Ensure that reinforcing steel is adequately protected to prevent corrosion, which can compromise the concrete structure.
  5. Landscaping Considerations: Avoid planting large trees close to the building, as their roots can penetrate and damage foundations. Ensure proper drainage to prevent water pooling around the structure.

Documentation and Communication:

Maintain detailed records of inspections, repairs, and maintenance activities. Effective communication with residents is essential. Inform them of scheduled inspections and any necessary repairs, fostering a collaborative approach to building upkeep.

As a condo board member, prioritizing concrete maintenance is an investment in the long-term stability and safety of your property. Regular inspections, proactive maintenance practices, and open communication contribute to a thriving community and safeguard the value of your investment. By staying vigilant and addressing concrete deficiencies promptly, you contribute to the overall well-being and longevity of your condominium structure.

Jesse Macleod
Construction Project Advisor at Fort Sands Construction


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