The Importance of Shop Front Canopy Repairs in Hong Kong
Shop front canopy repairs are vital to ensure that concrete structures are not at risk of eventual collapse. On a less-destructive scale, a major issue with not carrying out repairs in time is that cracking can occur and also spalling, which leads to concrete flaking off or even falling off in big slabs.
With heavy foot traffic going in and out of shops, as well as pedestrians walking down streets under canopies, there is a major safety issue in carrying out timely repairs. The key is that maintenance through appropriate testing is carried out to map any cracks and discover if the concrete of a canopy has been compromised in some way. If it has, the most likely explanation is that the reinforcing steel has suffered some corrosion.
Canopies stretch out over the doorways of many Hong Kong retail outlets and other commercial buildings, as well as residential buildings. They are subjected to the varied weather conditions experienced within the city-state, from hot and humid to monsoon downpours. This climate is a challenge that structures are usually well able to withstand where cement content is high, preventing carbonation. If carbonation does become an issue, then a tropical climate can act as a catalyst, accelerating this concrete condition. The result is a greater risk of corrosion, and with this a greater likelihood of concrete breaking away.
It has to be noted that when steel reinforcers within concrete are impacted by corrosion, this is not likely to cause a whole structure such as a canopy to collapse. The problem would have to be extensive and go undetected for a long time before this happens. However, the consequences of a slab of concrete from a canopy breaking off and falling down, where there is a strong likelihood of someone being underneath, does not bear thinking about. The criminal proceedings and civil litigation consequences of this could be catastrophic, not to mention the physical harm that an individual or individuals could suffer as a result of adequate repairs not being carried out.
It is also necessary for property owners to be aware of the time when a building was built, and whether the concrete cover of a canopy at that time was as compact as it might be in a more modern development. If the concrete is more porous then the chances of carbonation could be far higher.