An Overview of Concrete Slab Inspection Process
If you are serious about the structural integrity or your home or office, concrete slab inspection is something you just can’t ignore. In any building, concrete slabs serve the purpose of a foundation upon which the entire structure is built. Therefore, keeping them in a good condition is absolutely necessary.
In this brief article, we will help you understand the importance of concrete slabs, how to inspect concrete slabs, and what common defects and issues can be identified by these inspections. All information mentioned here can be applied to any future building inspection or house work.
What are concrete slabs?
Concrete slabs may be referred to as flat, horizontal surfaces constructed using a concrete mix. Concrete slabs are used extensively in concrete structures as foundations for homes, buildings, walkways, patios, as well as driveways.
As they provide support to the weight of the entire structure above them, concrete slabs must be extremely strong and are correctly installed. The consequence of any irregularities related to concrete slabs can be disastrous. This is why concrete slabs must be inspected thoroughly from time to time.
Understanding the inspection Process
Inspection of concrete slabs is a visual examination to check for different types of defects including cracks and unevenness. These inspections are carried out in three phases as discussed below.
- Pre pour inspection: Also known as footing or foundation inspection, this is the first phase of inspection performed prior to the pouring of the concrete slab. The area is inspected and the footing’s condition is checked to ensure compliance with Australian standards. This phase of inspection covers examination of trenches, stormwater, steel reinforcement, and pipe penetrations. It is also essential to ensure that the slab layout matches accurately with the floor plan of the building.
- Slab pour witness: In this phase, concrete is poured in presence of the inspector on site. This is done to ensure that the concrete is being poured in the right manner and all issues are identified and addresses as they occur, without any delay whatsoever. As a result, there is no need for repairs and fixes after the slabs starts to set.
- Post slab inspection: This phase is performed after the slab has been poured and set to verify whether the finished concrete surface has been installed in compliance with the building specification and National Construction Code.
Common Issues Found
Some of the most common concrete slab defects can be found by performing slab inspections.
- Cracks are the most commonly found problem with concrete slabs. Generally, these defects are the result of poor concrete placement, variations in temperature and climate, poorly balanced concrete mix, poor maintenance, or insufficiently designed structure.
- Honeycombing concrete is generally formed on the exterior of a concrete slab. It severely compromises concrete integrity, and resembles honeycombs made by bees. If left untreated, honeycombed concrete can lead to big defects in concrete structures.
At Coating Management Solutions (CMS), we offer a wide spectrum of concrete condition assessment services. Please contact our experienced concrete structure specialists to discuss your requirements.