Proper renovation can significantly extend the life of a concrete form. Improper renovation can cause costly blow-outs and ruin your building project. That’s a pretty big risk to take, so how can you tell whether your concrete formwork has been renovated properly or not?
Low Quality Renovation VS. High Quality Renovation
At first glance, the results of high quality concrete form renovation and low quality concrete form renovation may not look very different. However, if you look at the processes that go into both types of renovation, it becomes very clear which will stand the test of time after repeated concrete pours.
The first difference between high and low quality concrete form renovation starts with the first step: stripping the forms down to bare metal by stripping the old plywood, residual concrete, paint and sealants. Many “renovation” companies only remove the old plywood, leaving the old concrete, paint and sealant behind. Some don’t even do that, instead opting to just patch the old plywood and coat it in paint to make it look newer than it is.
Expert concrete form carpenters strip forms down completely during renovation for much more than cosmetic reasons. Stripping the form down to bare metal allows the carpenter to see any bends, chips, cracks or other weak points on the form and will either repair them, or deem the form unusable, before moving forward in the renovation process. If this vital step is skipped, fatal flaws in the form may be missed, resulting in form failure on the job later.
Once the bare steel or aluminum for has been inspected and repaired, skilled concrete form carpenters give the form a thorough coating of high quality paint, add new plywood and apply new sealants. The result of this skillful treatment is a renovated form that performs like new.
Less skilled renovators will often apply new paint over the old paint or use inferior paint, which saves time and money, but also results in a finish that is prone to chipping and peeling. Some less skilled renovators will also use salvaged plywood rather than new. This method is certainly cheaper, but also results in a much weaker finished form.
Ultimately, the life of a renovated concrete form depends heavily on the skill of the concrete form carpenter and the quality of the materials used. If renovated properly, a concrete form should perform like new.
The best way to verify the skill of a concrete form carpenter is to contact previous clients. A good renovator’s reputation will precede them. If you have the opportunity to see the renovation process in person, even better.
When considering concrete form rental, look for a rental company that also performs high quality renovations. The quality of the forms you rent is also likely to be higher.
For more information on identifying high quality concrete form renovation, contact us or call 1-888-993-1304.