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How To Repair Poured In Place Concrete Steps That Have Deteriorated At An Industrial Complex
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About 3 years ago one of my clients called me to check out 2 sets of stairs at his industrial Complex in Albany NY. He said the stairs need a little work, well when I got there and saw the shape of the stairs I was amazed that no one was injured on these stairs that were used continently. A half of the steps were not there and the others only had ½ the step left because the salt that was applied to the steps during the winter had deteriorated them over the years.

He told us that we could not tie up the stairs more than two or three days as they are the main stairways to another building that is in use constantly, so I told my client that we could use a ceramic product that is harder than concrete called Cerlon for the repair. The materials are expensive but we could get the 2 stairs repaired in about 3 days total for both. He told us go ahead after he cleared it with his tenant.

We cleaned all the concrete that was flaking off the stairs with an electric chipping hammer. Then we drilled a ½ inch hole about 4 inches deep in 3 places on each of the stairs and drove a ½ inch rebar in each hole bending it so that it was sticking up straight, but below the top of the stair tread and about 1 inch away for the face of the riser. We placed two ½ inch rods horizontally on the rods drilled into the stairs.

We formed every other stair and poured them on the first day adding ¾ of an inch on each landing. There were 7 risers and a landing on each of the stairways that were on the exterior of the building. The first day we did the odd risers which total 4 on each stair.

We mixed the Cerlon in 5 gallon buckets that the Cerlon came in, but only mixed a half a bucket at a time. We did not worry about Cold joins as Cerlon Chemically attaches to itself, concrete and rebar. We had the Cerlon poured by 1:30 that day and by 3 O’clock the stairs were cured enough to walk on and the Cerlon was at 145 degree.

The second day we stripped the forms from the first pour then set up all the even stairs to be poured. We mixed the Cerlon in 5 gallon pails as we did the day before and had those stairs poured about the same time and they were cured enough to walk on in about 45 minutes or less with a temperature of about 140 degrees. The work crew consisted of 4 men total.

We presented the bill to my client and found out that it cost my client less money using Cerlon to repair the two stairs than it did to replace one stair on the other side of the building with a precast concrete stair that is still susceptible to salt deterioration.

So in closing I would like to say that Cerlon costs more than concrete, but concrete repairs with Cerlon cost less and in this case a set of stairs that are not susceptible to deterioration from salt as concrete is. I checked on the stair last month to see how they were holding up and they look as good as the day we finished them 3 summers ago.


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