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Types of inspection for concrete structures

Inspection of concrete bridge

Inspecting concrete is a necessary step in the proper maintenance of buildings and  structures. It allows contractors to find any faults, such as cracks and salt damage, before they become bigger problems. Inspections will provide assurance that the concrete is structurally safe at any given period, so they need to be performed once every couple of months at least.

During inspections, any defects or problems need to be recorded. This allows contractors to keep an accurate record of when issues occur and how they are resolved. This information can also help engineers and architects to plan the repair work and strengthen the concrete structure.

Types of concrete inspection

There are three main types of inspection that need to be performed on concrete structures. These are; routine, detailed and special inspections.

  1. Routine inspection – This is the examination of concrete structures at regular intervals. Routine inspections are usually quick and they only look at the general condition of the structure. Each examination is recorded in a book. The inspector will make a visual assessment and use simple tools to determine the condition of the concrete. The purpose of routine inspections is to find cracks, chips, delamination, spalling, salt build-up, rust streaks and deformation in the concrete.
  2. Detailed inspection – This is a thorough examination of a concrete structure that takes longer than a routine inspection. A detailed inspection requires the assessor to closely examine the concrete and use specialised tools to accurately determine the state of the structure. These inspections need to be carried out by trained engineers who can plan comprehensive repairs.
  3. Special inspection – These examinations are done in special circumstances or after unusual events. They are usually performed when a building is being extended vertically, when reinforced concrete pillars show signs of stress, when a foundation starts to collapse, after earthquakes or ground tremors, after a fire, after a flood and after accidents. Any of these circumstances or events will require an engineer to perform a special inspection, which looks at very specific aspects of a structure’s integrity.

These three inspections ensure that buildings and other load-bearing concrete structures remain in perfect condition. Routine inspections must be carried out regularly, white detailed and special inspections are more needs-based – they are carried out as and when necessary. All concrete inspections must be recorded and performed by trained engineers and contractors.


LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 


LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.


At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.


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