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5 Common Causes of Damaged Concrete at an Amusement Park

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Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

There are many local amusement parks in North Carolina. While they can be a popular tourist destination, amusement parks often suffer from damaged concrete. Damaged concrete can be a catalyst for personal injuries. Furthermore, cracked or damaged concrete can give guests the wrong first impression about the maintenance of your park. If you’re the owner of an amusement park, concrete repair can help offset these two situations. Here are the top 5 common causes of damaged concrete at an amusement park: 

Lack of Steel Reinforcement

Amusement parks aren’t like shopping malls or other forms of entertainment. These venues see an extremely high amount of foot traffic every day for months on end. In fact, approximately 375 million people across the United States visit an amusement park each year. Furthermore, amusement parks contain extremely heavy ride vehicles that have to safely hold a group of people. If you don’t properly reinforce concrete, it can become damaged under such weight and foot traffic. 

Concrete installed in high-traffic areas and supporting heavy loads should have steel reinforcement. This reinforcement, whether welded wire mesh or rebar, holds the concrete together, improves strength, and prevents cracking. If installed concrete doesn’t have enough steel reinforcement, it can become damaged. 

Insufficient Outdoor Coating

Since amusement parks are usually outdoors, it’s important for amusement park owners to install a protective coating over their concrete. There are many types of concrete coatings on the market, such as urethane-based coatings and epoxy. However, damage to your concrete can occur if you use the wrong coating. While epoxy is a popular concrete coating, it doesn’t stand up to UV light. So, if your amusement park is located in a particularly sunny area, this won’t offer you much protection. 

Urethane-based coatings are a good option since they are weather-resistant. However, one of the best coatings amusement park owners can use is a waterproof stadium coating. This type of coating is for areas that experience heavy foot traffic. Plus, they’re weather- and slip-and-fall resistant. This is why consulting with an experienced floor installation company is important, since the experts can point you in the direction of the type of concrete coating that will best fit your needs. 

Improper Installation

Unfortunately, concrete that isn’t installed correctly is likely to result in damage. There are several causes of this, such as: 

  • The installer was inexperienced or in a rush to get the job done
  • There was an excessive amount of moisture in the concrete mix or during the curing process
  • Sealing the concrete before it was ready
  • Improperly used and/or constructed joints

If you don’t install concrete correctly, it can develop fissures. It could also cause spalling, which is when specks of concrete start to peel or flake away. 

Corrosion

Not only can concrete be damaged by poor steel reinforcement, but this can also happen when the steel reinforcement starts corroding. Corrosion occurs when the steel has been exposed to moisture or oxygen. In regards to concrete, this usually happens when the surface of the concrete floor hasn’t been sealed properly, which allows moisture to get in. 

When these reinforcements corrode, it causes them to rust. The rust then begins to occupy more space than the steel, causing the concrete to crack. 

Freeze-Thaw Cycle

Even though the southern states are known for their warm weather, they can experience cold snaps – especially in the winter season – which can damage outdoor concrete. This is due to the freeze-thaw cycle. This is when temperatures fluctuate from below freezing to above freezing. Since concrete is a naturally porous material, it can easily absorb water if not sealed properly. When the temperature dips below freezing, this water ends up freezing and causing a crack. After the ice melts, it can make way for more water to seep into the concrete. This continuous cycle causes the crack to get bigger and bigger. In fact, cracks can grow up to 9% bigger after each freeze-thaw cycle. 

Have Concrete Damage? Call Blair Duron for All Your Concrete Repair Needs

If you’re the owner of an amusement park, your first priority is making sure your patrons are safe. Damaged concrete is not only bad for your park’s reputation, but it also poses a significant safety hazard for everyone who enters the premises. If your concrete is damaged, contact the concrete repair professionals at Blair Duron. We have one of the largest direct labor forces in the country and will work with you to make sure the concrete repair process is done correctly from start to finish.