Concrete Concerns Caring for Your Community's Paved Surfaces

Florida does not have the harsh winters of the north, where thawing and freezing take their toll on concrete. But corrosion of concrete is an issue in South Florida, and homeowner associations need to ensure that the concrete making up their sidewalks, pavements and parking lots, as well as walkways and balconies, is properly installed and maintained.

Some Concrete Facts

Concrete is a mixture of four basic components: rock, sand, cement and water. A concrete mixture is similar to cake mixes, says Diep Tu, director of engineering for the Florida Concrete & Products Association in Orlando. “You can go down a supermarket aisle and see many different recipes. With concrete mixture, it depends on the application of where it is being used.”

“If you are looking for a product that can handle heavier car or truck traffic, concrete is the best product,” Tu continues. While the concrete mixture of the four components has not changed in recent years, new formulations have improved the performance, appearance, and life span of concrete and pavements.

“Chemical companies like BASF are finding the science to prolong the life of concrete,” says Tree Tietsort, president of the Southwest Florida chapter of the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI). “Some chemicals are mixed in and some are put on top of the concrete.”

According to Colin Meneely, president of the Southeast Florida chapter of the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) in Pompano Beach, there are specialized anti-corrosion rebar coatings and corrosion inhibitors that can be added directly to the concrete mixture at the plant. “There are thousands of coatings that can be applied to the concrete after it has been placed to enhance the performance, appearance, and life span,” he says. “A design professional should always be consulted to determine the proper product for the application.”

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