Bay Area Tank Inspection and Protective Coating Considerations
To function at their best and remain in service for a long period of time, water tanks require regular maintenance and protection measures. This post takes a look at the factors that can damage water tanks as well as the concrete strengthening techniques available to stop or slow that damage.
Causes of Damage
As covered by Greg Illig of Water & Wastes Digest, the quality of the concrete and harshness of its environment determine how quickly deterioration occurs. Illig describes high-quality concrete as being dense and free of cracks. Good concrete also features low permeability and high resistance to damage from freezing and thawing. Concrete missing these traits will be more vulnerable to damage, as will concrete that was installed incorrectly. Age plays a role as well: Concrete from the 1970s and 1980s often lacks the protective features common in newer concrete.
Severe environments can wear concrete down over time, regardless of the concrete’s quality. Illig cites environmental factors such as wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles as threats to concrete. Abrasion and chemicals can cause damage as well. Another factor, pointed out by Concrete.org, is the corrosion of metal embedded within concrete.
Diagnosing Concrete Damage
Before California tank rehabilitation can begin, it is necessary to first diagnose what is causing the damage. Illig comments that this diagnosis usually comes from a consultation with an engineer or firm that specializes in testing concrete. Working with an expert in this manner is critical for identifying the best long-term repair solution.
If the problem is diagnosed as corrosion—which is very common—then corrosion inhibitors can be very helpful for bringing the damage to a halt. Corrosion inhibitors do exactly what their name suggests: They fight corrosion, as described here on ScienceDirect.com. For instance, if rebar is present, then a penetrative inhibitor can enter the concrete and form a protective layer around the rebar.
Countering Other Damage Sources
Tank linings and coatings are the go-to protection method against the other causes of damage (freeze-thaw cycling, wet-dry cycling, chemicals, and abrasion.) They can also help against corrosion.
Lori Lovely of WaterWorld magazine has covered this protection measure in-depth, and she points out that not all coatings or liners are appropriate for all tanks. For example, potable water tanks may not need as much corrosion protection as tanks that handle wastewater.
Whatever the measure chosen, it will be most effective if it is installed from the start—that is, when the concrete tank is built. However, even if that isn’t the case, coatings and liners can still be applied later in a tank’s life, resulting in considerable protection.
Picon FRP, Inc. Bay Area Tank Rehabilitation and Concrete Strengthening
Whatever your tank linings, coatings, strengthening or inspection needs we can help. We are experienced, certified, and adhere to industry best practices to provide full-service, long-lasting tank maintenance solutions. Call 510-232-0065 today or contact us on our website.