Maintenance of Concrete
The maintenance of concrete includes various operations which start from the laying process and compaction of the mix, in order to ensure optimum thermal and moisture conditions in curing fresh concrete and enabling correct hydration process.
protection of fresh concrete
New elements constructed with concrete should always be protected against weather conditions, i.e.
maintenance should be started directly after the compaction and finishing1 of the concrete surface
Maintenance is of crucial importance for the quality of the concrete in the structure, that is why it should not be omitted or ignored. Maintenance determines whether the final product meets the design properties, including strength and durability!
maintenance of concrete in normal and high temperatures
Concrete laying is recommended at external temperatures between +5ºC and +25ºC. Within this range of temperatures, maintenance is aimed at the protection of the element against excessive loss of moisture as a result of evaporation from the surface of fresh concrete. Over a certain period the concrete surface requires constant contact with water, this is why it is called moisture maintenance.
The methods of moisture-related maintenance:
- spraying the concrete with water mist and keeping the surface visibly wet
- flooding the concrete foundation structures with water
- covering the concrete with wet jute, hemp or cotton mats and protecting them against drying
- using protecting covers, i.e. covering the wet concrete with PVC or PE foil by attaching them to the edges and joints, so that water evaporation is prevented.
maintenance of concrete in low temperatures
Performing construction and erection works in periods with low temperatures occurs when average day temperatures are below +5˚C. The specifics of the construction work in temperatures between -15˚C and +5˚C require particular operations that will ensure that the work is performed with high quality.²
In the period with reduced temperatures, concrete should be protected against losing the heat and freezing of the make-up water in the concrete.
Methods of thermal maintenance:
- heat retention - using insulating shields, heated enclosures
- delivery of additional heat - using heaters
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1 recommendations according to PN-EN 13670:2011 Execution of concrete structures.
2 according to Instruction ITB 282