The work of most concrete floor designers includes troubleshooting existing floors in distress. Reasons for distress include aging, poor maintenance, and design or construction errors. An independent investigator with no connection to the parties involved is often the most effective troubleshooter. Investigators may need to analyze floors for construction deficiencies as well as design errors.
Evaluating a floor slab consists of four steps:
- Visually inspecting the floor in a walk-through
- Obtaining quantitative information, if needed, in a measurement and numerical session
- Identifying repair or maintenance options
- Reporting results and opinions
Floor defects can be cosmetic, maintenance-related, or functional. Placing the defects in at least one of these categories helps in determining repair and maintenance options. In a cosmetic defect, only the floor's appearance is affected. Repair work may be needed to enhance both short-term and long-term floor use in a maintenance-related defect. Functional defects are severe enough to impair floor use and decrease the building's value.