29 Aug Maintenance and repair of industrial floor joints
WHAT ARE YOUR DAMAGED FLOOR JOINTS COSTING YOU IN FORKLIFT REPAIRS AND REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY?
Damaged, separated concrete slab joints can slow down forklift traffic. Travelling over damaged expansion joints and contraction/control joints is hard on all parts of your forklift. Frequent repairs and wheel replacements can lead to excessive expenses and loss of valuable operation time.
In warehouse and distribution facilities, the best industrial concrete floor is one that provides a smooth, hard, interruption-free platform for operations.
Concrete floors must have joints – and joints are interruptions in an otherwise continuous surface. Each joint is a potential impact point for hard wheels, pallets, forklift tongs or other hard objects. When these material handling vehicles run across uninterrupted floors, they can operate at their optimum speed and thus achieve their intended productivity rate.
Warehouse slabs, cold-room floors and driveways are subject to impact damage from forklifts – especially electric forklifts. The small, solid rubber wheels impact upon joint shoulders and any small imperfections on the slab. Often these areas will “grow” rapidly and become a potential risk for operators, the forklift and stock.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTENANCE OF INDUSTRIAL FLOOR JOINTS
Joints are subject to many factors which influence their design and service life. In load-bearing conditions, this service life can be compromised. Joint deterioration, cracks, spalling and water ingress/seepage affect the longevity of the asset.
When a floor has deteriorated joints, several negative effects occur;
- Vehicle operators slow down as they approach the joints to avoid jolts.
- The vehicle wheels get chewed up and must be replaced, resulting in vehicle downtime, maintenance, personnel time and expense, and wheel replacement cost.
- When defects are severe, the results can be lower back distress claims by drivers, the danger of load tipping etc.
- As traffic continues to cross the damaged joints, the defects grow wider and deeper if left untreated, which eventually will require expensive and time-consuming repairs.
Joints between concrete sections are designed to accommodate movement, which can be due to several factors including initial concrete shrinkage while curing, through to cyclic thermal movement.
Joints should also be sealed to prevent debris, water or chemical solution ingress into subsoils.
If rock fragments, or other such debris, enter an open joint, and then the joint closes in to crush the debris, the edges of the joint can deteriorate rapidly. Major joint deterioration presents a safety hazard and a potential source of damage to plant and equipment.
Failed joints can cause water entry into unintended areas or leaks in retaining structures. In the case of slabs on the ground, any unintended passage of water through the slab can compromise the ground-support underneath through ‘liquefaction’. If chemical solutions are also allowed to penetrate failed joints, the substrate and surrounding environment are also at risk of serious harm.
THE BENEFITS OF FLOOR JOINT REHABILITATION:
We start any remedial concrete joint repair with an inspection and assessment to identify underlying issues and propose a solution that is in line with the facility function of the warehouse, distribution centre or manufacturing plant. There is no standard floor design because each industrial floor has a variety of demands placed upon it depending on the material handling vehicle type, load weights, frequency of traffic, site conditions, environment etc. As an example; high rack lifts place higher demands on floor joints due to their smaller, harder wheels and increased point loads.
- The best surface for safe and efficient movement of goods is a smooth, hard and uninterrupted surface.
- Improved productivity of material handling and traffic efficiency.
- Vehicles can move at speed without slowing down to manoeuvre over separated joints.
- Reduced vehicle repair costs and downtime due to wheel replacement.
- Time and Cost-Effective Solution – If left untreated, the defect grows wider and deeper and will eventually require expensive and time-consuming repairs.
- Reduced impact points for hard-wheeled traffic.
- Reduced risk of injuries due to load tipping.
- Reduced risk of claims from drivers due to lower back distress. This can result from jagged movements due to wheels getting caught in gaping and deteriorated floor joints.
WATERSTOP SOLUTIONS – FOR ALL YOUR JOINT REFURBISHMENT NEEDS
Waterstop Solutions offers joint filling, joint sealing and joint repair solutions that are specifically designed to withstand crack and joint movement due to expansion or contraction. With a countless meterage of experience in joint remediation, our team fully understands what is involved in selecting the right joint system for your application.
At Waterstop Solutions, we frequently perform joint replacement and install joint-improvement systems in conjunction with waterproofing works.
Our joint sealing process includes the expert repair of concrete joint edges prior to the installation of our recommended system.
The typical method used in joint rehabilitation is as follows:
- Repairs are square-cut into the concrete to prevent feather-edge cracking and to maximise durability.
- Polymer repairs are used for rapid setting and higher impact resistance.
- Once set, we normally grind repairs to ensure an extremely smooth transition.
- Joints are re-cut and re-sealed to protect them from further damage.
- Re-sealed joints are primed if the substrate is porous, which can double the life of the seal.
- Appropriate joint sealant system for the application is selected and installed.
- Joint Reduction – Wide joints suffer the most damage and any difference in level between the floor slabs will exacerbate the problem. Reducing the width of expansion joints to 10mm will help lower the impact of hard wheel traffic and minimise the chance of wheels getting caught in the joint.
The new highly durable joint system provides a smooth levelled surface on which warehouse traffic can pass with much less impact on the joint, potentially reducing maintenance costs to material handling equipment.
If you have any issues with damaged concrete floor joints, cracking concrete slabs, structural cracks, concrete deterioration, moisture, seepage, efflorescence, rising damp and/or high-flow active leaks in concrete structures, we would be happy to assist you. You are welcome to contact us with any questions that you may have.
Brisbane office: (07) 3205 1899
Email: [email protected]
Sydney office: 02 9346 8308
Email: [email protected]
Are you interested in finding out more about the various remedial building services we are providing?
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Waterstop Solutions Capability Statement is now available to download as PDF. (The image is clickable and opens up a link to our Capability Statement).
Good maintenance begins with a proactive approach to maintain, keep, preserve and protect a building.
Remember that seepage/water ingress into areas such as balconies, basements, concrete roofs, car parks and retaining walls, should not be ignored – call a remedial waterproofing professional today for an assessment to provide you with the best solution for your situation.
At Waterstop Solutions, we carry out a wide range of remedial works to concrete structures post-construction stage in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and outlying areas in Queensland and New South Wales.
Equipped with major civil works experience, we can quickly determine the best approach to rectify all seepage and concrete deterioration issues.