When you own a business, you have a duty of care to ensure that people who visit the premises are always kept safe. Clearly, you have public liability insurance in place to protect you against accidents and the unknown. However, you should also pay attention to upkeep and maintenance so you can avoid some of the more likely issues at the source. So, when was the last time that you paid close attention to the concrete sidewalks, driveways or access points around your property, and how should you repair any defects you may find?
Dealing with Concrete
Concrete is a very durable and hard-wearing material and, if properly installed, can be expected to last without issue for some time. However, external factors can sometimes come into the picture, including adverse weather conditions, subterranean movement or particularly heavy weights. These can lead to defects which can also come in various shapes and forms.
Discovering an Issue
If some of your concrete installations pick up some damage, you'll want to identify the reason, assess the nature of the fault and take action to fix it as soon as possible. The issue could be as simple as a crack in the surface to problems that affect the structural integrity of the entire installation. You may be able to fix some of these problems (such as the smallest crack), while others will require input from a professional.
Taking Early Action
Still, you must take action to avoid exacerbating the issue. A crack may be minuscule to start with but can easily spread due to changing weather conditions and pressure. Sometimes, water can collect underneath the slab due to those cracks and imperfections. When this freezes and thaws, it could cause a major problem.
Determining the Cause
As you try to determine the cause, bear in mind that nearby trees may be to blame. As the root network grows in search of moisture, it can damage the concrete surface above and often cause a slab to veer upwards. This is clearly a major risk to pedestrians and could cause a trip and fall accident.
Assessing the Scale of the Issue
Cracking can sometimes happen just after the concrete has been installed. These will typically be minor defects that can easily be treated. However, if the damage indicates a structural problem, you may have to bring concrete contractors to fix or reinstall it.
Protecting Your Position
Don't take any risks when it comes to your concrete paths or driveways, and remember that insurance claims can be time-consuming and lead to dissatisfied clients. Instead, get in touch with a commercial concrete contractor, and they'll advise you on what to do in these particular circumstances.