Restoration and Waterproofing
Shiff Construction & Development, Inc. is an industry leader in the restoration and preservation of concrete structures. Despite its durability, deterioration of concrete is inevitable, especially in coastal South Florida. Construction defects are magnified through the wear and tear of use, environmental stress, and damage from weather, fire, settlement, impact, etc. occur. Compared to alternative construction materials such as wood, steel, aluminum, and polymers, concrete is very resistant to insect damage, fire, impact, flooding, abrasion, weathering, moisture exposure, etc. Deterioration is almost always the result of design and material selection oversights; such as lack of freeze-thaw durability, sulfate attack, abrasion, chemical attack, etc. The severity of damage (incidents occurring as unexpected sudden events such as fire, earthquake, impact, etc.) is compounded by the existing weakness from deterioration and design/construction deficiencies. Once damaged or deteriorated to an extent where the use of the structure is impaired, concrete requires repair.
The most effective strategy to sustainability in concrete repair is to avoid having to perform repairs in the first place. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly applicable to durable concrete construction. Investment in preventative maintenance results in shorter, less disruptive interventions and greater protection (such as protection from reinforcement corrosion) that are incredibly cost effective over the life cycle of the structure compared to waiting until deterioration has been initiated, let alone attempting repairs after the deterioration has caused damage (such as rust weeping, spalling and cracking). Keeping moisture ingress from concrete and providing for natural drying once the concrete has cured minimizes freezing and thawing damage, alkali-aggregate reaction, most types of sulfate attack, deicer salt scaling, reinforcement corrosion and many other deterioration mechanisms. For new concrete construction of good quality and proper design, addressing cracks, periodic treatment with penetrating sealers, application of appropriate coatings or membranes, and other proactive maintenance can postpone the need for repairs almost indefinitely.
Waterproofing maintenance and repairs can be one of the most cost-effective and cost preventative actions an Owner can take. By being proactive in the maintenance of coatings and sealants, an Owner can minimize the impact of weathering and decay to its structures. Often times problems that could otherwise be treated at first notice, are either overlooked or not understood until the problem has exacerbated and requires major reconstruction. Shiff C&D whether independently or with a structural engineer can assist Owners in annual and semi-annual evaluations of their structures and prepare maintenance and repair schedules.