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Preliminary and routine inspection

In both preliminary and routine inspections, the objectives are to investigate the condition of a structure, to determine if a more detailed inspection is necessary, and to assess when further inspection will be required. For many existing structures an inspection programme is specified, with a schedule of routine inspections.

The initial phase of a routine inspection is a walk-round survey to provide an overall view of the condition of the structure and to check that the structure as built corresponds to the construction drawings. Any defects seen should be noted and revisited so that an assessment can be made of the cause, severity and likely development.

At this stage, it may be decided that an observed defect will require further investigation and its location and any observed features should be noted for closer attention in a more detailed survey.During a preliminary survey ease of safe access and any need to improve access for a more detailed survey should be noted.

The following matters should be included and noted:

  • Cracks, location, orientation, width and length, and cause.
  • Deterioration of concrete, spalling, pop-outs and discolouration.
  • Leaks, damp-patches or lime-scale.
  • Signs of reinforcement corrosion.
  • Signs of any previous repairs.
  • Location and condition of joints.
  • Condition of bearings.

The survey report should highlight the time for the next routine inspection or the need for further immediate inspection.

Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society

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TR54 Diagnosis of deterioration in concrete structures- identification of defects, evaluation an

Crack width measurement