If you are like most people, you may have neglected considerations on your building's expansion joints. Expansion joints are an essential part of the frame of your building. They are located where two pieces of concrete meet and allow your building to "move" by expanding and contracting, depending on the varying temperatures and pressures of the seasons. Expansion joints help your building withstand different weather patterns throughout the year, resisting damages to slabs or concrete elevations. This makes them a critical component in the life of your building. There are vertical expansion joints on the outside of buildings, and there are also horizontal expansion joints inside buildings in the floor, so they don’t crack out. Properly maintaining them involves having your joints re-caulked routinely to make sure your building does not fall victim to the weather. Look for these signs to determine that the time has come to re-caulk your expansion joints.
Vertical expansion joints are located in the walls on the outside of your building and are your frontline defense against harsh weather. If the weather, rain water, and precipitation from the outside starts seeping into your building, it’s time to re-caulk. Without it, you run the risk of damaging expensive equipment inside, like computer systems, machinery, upholstery, and more.
Another sign that your expansion joints may need to be re-caulked is if you start noticing cracks in the caulking itself. A good idea is to spot check those caulked areas. Look for caulking that is starting to crack or becoming brittle. Note that cracks do not mean that water has penetrated your building, but it could be the start of a larger problem. You will also want to check interior floors’ horizontal expansion joints as well.
The best way to ensure that your expansion joints are not neglected is to plan for the next caulking job now and get into a scheduled routine. The average life time for caulking is 10 years. Use this as a guide in determining when to have your expansion joints re-caulked.
Expansion joints are not something that most people look at on a day-to-day basis, yet they serve an integral function to your building and can significantly affect its lifespan. If you would like an inspection, need your expansion joints re-caulked, or would like to learn more, contact us today!