Building owners often choose concrete masonry for its low maintenance costs. However, periodic repair and restoration are needed to preserve and maintain the structure's integrity, appearance and value. A rigorous maintenance program greatly reduces the chances of major problems or costly repairs so it's vital to give the owner a clear manual that identifies and describes all materials and equipment installed in the building. Based on the recently published NCMA TEK 8-1A "Maintenance of Concrete Masonry Walls," from the National Concrete Masonry Association the manual should outline the maintenance needed for each item.
- Periodic cleaning of buildings may be needed to remove dirt, stains, efflorescence, graffiti and mold.
- Check for water penetration, periodically reapply clear surface water repellents, paints and coatings and check that sprinklers and water faucets do not soak the walls.
- To prevent recurring cracks, determine the cause and review any previous corrective measures taken before repairing them.
- Inspect units for spalling, popouts and large impacts and repair if necessary.
- Paint, water repellents, waterproofing or other coatings require periodic inspection and occasional coating reapplication. Keep records.
- Monitor plant growth because large roots can cause severe damage and even collapse of basement walls. Ivy on concrete masonry walls, though of aesthetic value, can shorten the walls' service life.
- Inspect control joints periodically. Remove damaged sealant, clean and prime the joint, and install new sealant.