Structural Strengthening: How Does It Relate to Concrete Repair
Structural strengthening, restoring and adding capacity, is an integral part of today’s concrete repair industry.
Structural strengthening may be required for increasing load capacity of beams, columns, walls, and/or slabs, seismic retrofitting, supporting additional live or dead loads not included in original design, to relieve stresses generated by design or construction errors, or to restore original load capacity to damaged structural elements.
Structural strengthening may also be required because of changes to building codes or seismic activity or seismic damage. Structural strengthening might be required for several of the above reasons in combination.
Types of Concrete Structural Strengthening
Here, very briefly, are a few of the types of structural strengthening that can be employed:
1. Span shortening. This means adding additional supports for a given span.
2. Adding composite material. It’s possible to add fiber-reinforced polymer material—sometimes with an epoxy--to strengthen parts of the structure.
3. Adding bonded steel. Steel plates can be added to parts of the structure.
4. External post-tensioning. Steel cables can be added to help support the structure.
5. Section enlargement. Posts and girders can be beefed up (made larger) to support heavier loads.
Concrete structures don’t last forever, and they aren’t designed to. They have a limited service life.
So, if you want your concrete or masonry structure to last longer than was originally anticipated, you can take steps to prevent corrosion, stop corrosion already in process, repair any damage, and/or perform some structural strengthening to restore or improve the structure’s condition and load-bearing capacity.
Vector Construction, with offices throughout the US and Canada, is an award-winning company devoted to concrete protection, restoration, and repair for concrete and masonry structures and facilities.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about the repair of your concrete structure, please feel free to contact us through our online form or call the Vancouver office at (604) 540- 8184.