There is no doubt TKLs precast concrete can last for decades. It can even last longer with proper maintenance. There’s a good reason why most clients choose precast concrete; it’s tough and durable.
Those are the facts! However, precast concrete is not indestructible if neglected for long periods. Like most things in life, if you take good care of it, it will reward you with durability for years while looking as good as new.
So your next precast concrete project can survive for decades, here are some tips from TKL to keep it looking awesome and majestic.
Conduct Periodic Condition Assessments
The first place to start on this maintenance journey is conducting periodic assessments of your precast concrete. How often you do this depends on several factors. These include the risks associated with potential failure, the types of materials used, how exposed the building is to environmental factors such as the wind, rain, and pollution, and the owner’s preference.
Here’s a great tip: inspect different parts of the building at different intervals. The advantage of this approach is that it allows you to assess the variables mentioned above. For most precast concrete structures, do an annual visual assessment. Use binoculars if necessary.
Use an elevated platform or swing stage to inspect components such as window systems that have reached their expected service life. During the inspection, record all signs of deterioration and have them addressed as soon as possible. Pay close attention to overhangs, parapets, roofing and balconies. A fault on any of these could affect the overall performance and longevity of your precast concrete.
Perform General Cleaning
Precast concrete panels are susceptible to staining and accumulation of dirt, even when a treatment is used. The trick is to go the “prevention is better than cure” route. Keep off the usual stains sources such as exhaust from mechanical vents, cleaning agents and runoff water that often streak during window cleaning or leaks trickling from the roof. To maintain the original visual appeal of the panels, regularly conduct visual inspections and clean your precast concrete panels immediately you notice stains or discoloration.
For precast concrete panels that don’t feature a special coating, start by pouring clean water around the area you want to clean. This ensures that wash water is not absorbed. After this, pressure-wash the surface. Avoid spraying panel joints and windows directly. Spray away instead.
Re-apply Sealer After Cleaning
If you want to maintain the beauty of your TKL precast concrete, keeping it clean and sealed is imperative. These are the best and most efficient measures of keeping your precast concrete looking new. Remove any debris or dirt for an enhanced visual appeal.
The cleaning and re-sealing process depend on the weather conditions and the location of your precast concrete. In general, re-seal the precast concrete every two years or whenever the finish begins to wear off. You can use commercial concrete sealers, which are available in hardware and supply retailers. However, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying them.
Put Safeguards Against Graffiti
Graffiti is quite a challenge to clean, especially on a precast concrete surface. The best approach to cleaning graffiti from your surfaces is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Nothing entices a tagger like a large blank wall of an office building.
Plant vines or shrubs in front of it so it isn’t visible, or hire someone to paint a mural over it. Adding adequate lighting is also likely to deter taggers. Nobody wants to be under the ‘spotlight’ while breaking the law.
As much as TKLs precast concrete is sturdy and durable, like any concrete, it requires adequate maintenance and care. To last decades, regular inspection and maintenance are essential. It’s better to repair minor damages than to replace entire sections. Prevention is better than cure.