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Chapter: Civil : Repair and Rehabilitation of Structures : Maintenance and Repairs Strategies

Repair and Rehabilitation of Structures: Maintenance and Repairs Strategies

Maintenance, repair and rehabilitation, Facets of Maintenance, importance of Maintenance Various aspects of Inspection, Assessment procedure for evaluating a damaged structure, Causes of deterioration



Maintenance, repair and rehabilitation, Facets of Maintenance, importance of Maintenance Various aspects of Inspection, Assessment procedure for evaluating a damaged structure, Causes of deterioration




Maintenance Engineering is defined as the work done to keep the civil Engineering structures and work in conditions so as to enable them to carry out the functions for which they are constructed.


It is preventive in nature. Activities include inspection and works, necessary to fulfill the intended function, or to sustain original standard of service.


Scope of maintenance


Petty repairs, replacements and structural repairs of buildings, white and color washing, distempering and painting at prescribed intervals


Repair and renewal of furniture


Operation, periodical maintenance, repairs renewals of machinery and equipment for electric etc


Repair of roads,culvets and resurfacing the roads



1.Facts of Maintenance

Aims of Maintenance work classified as

The avoidance of accidents, which may harm people or plant

The continued operation of a facility

The protection of the capital investment in the asset



2.Maintenance work is classified as

Preventive maintenance

Remedial maintenance

Routine maintenance

Special maintenance


Maintenance work is classified as


The maintenance work done before the defects occurred in the structure is called preventive structure


2.1.Remedial maintenance


It is the maintenance done after the defects in the structure. It involves the following basic steps.


Finding the deterioration

Determining the clause

Evaluating the strength of the existing structures

Evaluating the need of the structures

Selecting and implanting the repair procedure


2.2.Routine maintenance


It is the service maintenance attended to the structure periodically. It is depends upon specifications and materials of structure, purpose, intensity and condition of use.


2.3.Special maintenance


It is the work done under special condition and requires sanction and performed to rectify heavy damage.



3.Importance of Maintenance various aspects of Inspection

Improves the life of structure

Improved life period gives better return on investment

Better appearance and aesthetically appealing

Leads to quicker detection of defects and hence remedial measures

Prevents major deterioration that leads to collapse

Ensures safely to occupants

Ensures feeling of confidence by the user


Daily Routine Maintenance

Basically an inspection oriented and may not contain action to be taken

Help in identifying major changes, development of cracks, identifying new cracks etc

Inspection of all essential items by visual observation

Check on proper function of sewer, water lines, wash basins, sinks etc

Check on drain pipes from roof, during rainy season


Weekly Routine Maintenance


Electrical Accessories

Flushing sewer line

Leakage of water line


Monthly Routine Maintenance


Cleaning Doors, windows, etc

Checking Septic Tank/Sewer


Observation for cracks in the elements

Cleaning of overhead tanks


Yearly Routine Maintenance

Attending to small repairs and white washing

Painting of steel components exposed to weather

Check of displacements and remedial measures


Stages of inspection

A. Inspection

Collect data at specified intervals in specified form

B. Analysis

Add latest information to database


ii.           Examine progression of defects

iii.           Relate defects to action criteria


C. Action possibilities

i.           Note and wait for the next inspection

ii.           Alter inspection frequency

iii.           Institute repairs

iv.          Further detailed investigation

v.           Put safety procedures in place



5.Necessitation of the maintenance


The causes which necessitate the maintenance effects the service and durability of the structure as follows:


Atmospheric Agencis

Normal wear and tear

Failure of structure


5.1 Atmospheric Agencis

Rain: It is the important source of water which affects the structure in the following ways:


Expansion And contraction


The material is subjected to repetitive expansion and contraction while they become wet and dry and develops the stresses


Dissolving and carrying away minerals as it is universal solvent

Chemical: The water available in nature contains acids and alkali and other compound in dissolved form acts over the material to give rise, which is known as chemical weathering.


i.           Wind:It is the agent, which transports the abrasive material and assists the physical weathering.


ii.           Temperature: The diurnal, seasonal and annual variation of the temperature, difference in temperature it causes expansion and contraction.


5.2.Normal wear and tear


During the use of structure it is subjected to abrasion and thereby it looses appearance and serviceability


5.3 Failure of structure

Improper design- Due to incorrect, insufficient data regarding use, loading and environmental conditions, selection of material and poor detailing.


Defective construction-poor materials, poor workmanship, lack of quality control and supervision.


Improper use of structure- overloading, selecting the structure for the use they not designed impurities from industrial fuel burning, sea water minerals etc.


6.Inspection periods

Pre-monsoon period

Monsoon period

Post-monsoon period


6.1 Pre-monsoon period


To decide the maintenance programmer to be done before monsoon such as cleaning of drains, checking of roof leakage, collection material etc

6.2Monsoon period


It is needless to mention that the emergency work carried out in monsoon period.e.g: railway tracks, collapse of roof etc.


6.3 Post-monsoon inspection


It is made to repair the damage caused by water and draw up the programme of repair according to the priorities.


7.Maintenance processes

Design for maintainability

Preventive maintenance

Predictive maintenance

Reliability centered maintenance

Reactive maintenance

Spares management

Maintenance logistics support

Total productive maintenance

Organizing for maintenance

Computerized maintenance management program


Statutory requirements


8.Inspection of building

Condition of wall paint

Condition of paint on woodwork and grill

Condition of flooring

Roof leakage, leakage etc

Condition of service fittings

Drainage from terrace

Growth of vegetation

Structural defects like Crack, Settlement, and Deflection


9.Repair and rehabilitation


Repair is the technical aspect of rehabilitation. It refers to the modification of a structure, partly or wholly which is damaged in appearance or serviceability.


The following factors to be considered repair of concrete structures:

The cause of damage

Type, shape and function of the structure


The capabilities and facilities available with builders

The availability of repair materials


9.1Stages of concrete repair

Repair of concrete structures is carried out in the following stages:

Removal of damaged concrete

Pre treatment of surfaces and reinforcement

     Application of repair material

     Restoring the integrity of individual sections and strengthening of structure as a whole

9.2 Repair procedure

A repair procedure may be selected to accomplish on or more of the following objectives:

To increase strength or restore load carrying capacity

To restore or increase stiffens

To improve functional performance

To provide water tightness

To improve durability

To prevent access of corrosive material to reinforcement


9.3 Types and classification of repair Types of repair:


Cosmetic treatments on surfaces

Partial replacement of surface and subsurface material

       Additional of reinforcements and bonding materials to strengthen the element

       Total replacement of the structural element

Classification of repair:

Classification of repair : Repair reqirements 


Superficial : Cement  mortar bonding by  trowelling    


General : Non structural or minor  structural ;restoring cover to  rebars     


Principal : Significant loss of concrete  strength; shotcreting for slabs  and beams, jacketing for  columns etc   


Major : Demolition and recasting  required.    



9.4 Methods of Repairs

The following considerations are to be taken care of and observed:

Determination of extent, location and width of cracks

Classification of cracks as structural and non-structural


Dormant cracks:


Dormant cracks are caused by some event in the part, which is not expected to recur. They remain constant in width, and may be repaired by filling then with a rigid material.


Active cracks:


Do not remain constant in width, but open and close as the structure in loaded, or due to thermal and hydras changes in the concrete.


Growth cracks:

Increase in width becomes the original reason for their occurrence persists.


9.5 Applications:

The repair of cracks can be achieved with the following techniques:

Resin injection

Routing and Sealing


External stressing




Dry pack

Vacuum impregnation

Polymer impregnation


9.6 Rehabilitations


The success of repair activity depends on the identification of the root cause of the deterioration of the concrete structures. The repairs can be done for the improvement of strength and durability, thus extending the life of the structure, is not difficult to achieve.


It is the processes of restoring the structure to service level, once it had and now lost, strengthening consists in endowing the structure with a service level, higher than that initially planned by modifying the structure not necessarily damaged area.


The following steps are generally used in the rehabilitation of distressed concrete structure:

Support the structural members properly as required.

Remove all cracked, spalled and loose concrete.

Clean the exposed concrete surfaces and steel reinforcement

Provide additional reinforcing bars, if the loss in reinforcement is more than 10%

Apply protective coatings over the exposed/repaired surface.


9.6.1 Applications:


Resin injection

Dry pack and Epoxy-bonded dry pack

Slab jacking Technique

Sprayed concrete


10Assessment procedure for evaluating a damaged structure The following steps may necessary:

Physical Inspection of damaged structure

Prepartion and documenting the damages

Collection of samples and carrying out tests both in-situ and in lab

Studying the documents including structural aspects

Estimation of loads acting on the structure

Estimate of environmental effects including soil structure interaction


Taking preventive steps not to cause further damage

Retrospective analysis to get the diagnosis confirmed

Assessment of structural adequacy

Estimation on future use

Remedial measures necessary to strengthen and repairing the structure

Post repair evaluation through tests

Load test to study the behavior

Choice of course of action for the restoration of structure.


10.1Flowchart for Assessment procedure for damaged structure

11Causes of Deterioration


a)  Design and construction Flows


Design of concrete structures governs the performance of concrete structures. Well-designed and detailed concrete structure will show less deterioration in comparison with poorly designed and detailed concrete, in this similar condition. The beam-column joints are particularly probe to defective concrete, if detailing and placing of reinforcement is not done properly.


b)  Environmental effects


Micro-cracks present in the concrete are the source of access of moisture and atmospheric carbon-di-oxide into the concrete, which attack reinforcement and react with various ingredients of concrete. In aggressive environment, concrete structures will deteriorate faster and strength/life of concrete structures will be severely reduced.


c)  Usage of poor Quality Material


Quality of materials to be used in construction, should be ensured by means of various tests, as specified in the IS codes. Alkali-aggregate and Sulphate attack results in early deterioration. Clayed materials in the fine aggregates may weaken the mortar-aggregate bond, and reduce the strength.


d)  Quality of Supervision


Construction work should be carried out as per the specifications. Adherence to specified water-cement ratio controls strength, permeability and durability of concrete. Insufficient vibration may result in porous and honey-combed concrete, whereas excess vibration may cause segregation.


e)  Deterioration due to Corrosion

Spalling of concrete cover

Cracks parallel to the reinforcement

Spalling at edges

Swelling of concrete






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