Although Florida does not have the harsh winters of the north, it does have humidity in spades. Concrete corrosion, therefore, is problematic. HOAs 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.
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.”
“There are shrinking reducers that minimize shrinking and the potential for cracking,” adds Mike Rhodes, owner of Homestead Paving in Miami. “There are additives for consolidation. The additives used are dependent on the project and the environmental circumstance.”
The owner or developer should require the contractor to be an American Concrete Institute Certified Flatwork Finisher. These finishers offer concrete construction knowledge, skills, and equipment to get the job done right, as well as guidelines. ICRI standards are written into all specifications. “Look to see how long a contractor has been in business, and possibly look at similar, recent jobs they have completed,” says Tu.