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Spring Maintenance Tips: Foundations

Cracks, potholes, efflorescence, and mineral deposits are among the most common signs of deterioration in facility foundations. It is crucial to catch these problems early and have them addressed by maintenance professional. Problems like these often require specialized equipment and/or materials to properly resolve, and can disrupt normal facility function. It is therefore important to have a planned maintenance and inspection schedule and an organized maintenance workforce in place to minimize these disruptions and prevent them from consuming more resources than necessary.

Do You have a Foundation Drainage System?

Spring is a perfect time to run a cost/benefit analysis on a potential foundation drainage system upgrade or overhaul. These systems can take many forms, but they all achieve the same thing: diverting water from your foundation. Flooding around the foundation can cause serious problems over time that can require costly repairs. It is worth bringing in experts to suggest some options as the cost of repair to water damage far outweighs the cost of a foundation drainage system These systems are often mandated by local building codes, so it’s important to stay up to date and ensure that your foundations fully comply with these regulations. Have your maintenance staff measure the amount of standing water after a rain storm. If there is 10 feet or more around your foundation, you may need a foundation drainage system, according to one rule of thumb.

Are Tree and Plant Roots Causing Problems?

Tree and plant roots  can cause serious problems when they grow out of control and put pressure and strain on foundations. Root systems can change moisture levels in the soil around foundations; the more dense the root systems, the more dry the soil can be.  These variances can cause what is called differential settlement, a condition in which certain areas of a facility’s foundation are settling lower than others. These problems are often left unaddressed until they become critical, and the bill for repairs can be huge.

Gather information on different Root Barrier materials that can be used to fortify foundations against encroaching root and plant systems. These materials can be installed between root systems and foundation walls to protect them from pressure and growth. Roots themselves can be cut and capped to better regulate moisture levels around your facilities.

This is another case where it may be a good idea to bring in an expert to run checks and provide recommendations. From there, it can be determined whether the task could be handled by either a current contractor, or whether a a specialist will be needed to implement the solutions of choice.

A CMMS product with mobile work requests and inventory management will reduce delays in these types of projects by ensuring that workers have everything they need, when they need it. The ability to move quickly from diagnosis of potential problems by experts to executing repairs will reduce overall maintenance costs and help maximize maintenance budgets.

 

Sources:

http://www.concreteconstruction.net/foundation/10-tips-for-foundation-drainage.aspx

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2002/mar02/art3mar.html

http://www.foundationrepairs.com/foundationmaintenance/rootbarriers.php

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