Minnesota West Policies

Chapter 6 - Facilities

6.20.1 Exterior Concrete Surfaces



To establish a comprehensive program for the installation, renovation and maintenance of exterior concrete surfaces at all Minnesota West campuses.



The Director of Facilities and the Building Services Supervisors shall conduct an annual survey of all exterior concrete surfaces (sidewalks, curbs, patios, parking lots and retaining walls) to determine their condition and establish a rehabilitation and/or replacement plan.


Special consideration will be given to the amount of current and future use of the area and to handicap accessibility.


Well-maintained concrete reflects a positive image of Minnesota West and provides a safe access to our facilities by our students, staff and visitors.



  1. The results of the annual survey shall be used to determine the maintenance plan and/or a plan to replace deteriorated sections of concrete.

  2. Weather, rain and the annual freeze/thaw cycle, is the leading force that causes concrete surfaces to break down. The four examples of concrete in poor condition and what can be done for them are:
    1. Cracks:  Are a result of pressure caused by the expansion of the concrete or by problems with the base under the slab. All cracks shall be cleaned and an approved latex sealant compound shall be applied.  When the crack is larger than ½ inch in width or depth an appropriate rod stock shall be installed in the crack prior to filling.  This process should be completed annually or as often as needed to keep moisture from getting under the slab.
    2. Spalling:  Is caused primarily by the action of freezing and thawing of the moisture in the concrete and may be the sign of poor installation or the use of an aggressive ice melt substance. Repairing spalled concrete is expensive. Areas of excessive spalling should be monitored for safety and scheduled for replacement if this deterioration continues.
    3. Heaving:  Is a condition where two adjoining concrete surfaces are no longer level with each other. This is the result of pressure from under the concrete caused by expansion or the intrusion of roots. Areas of heaved concrete should be marked with yellow paint to warn pedestrians of the danger and should be scheduled for replacement and the elimination of the cause.
    4. Crumbling:  Is the advanced stage of spalling. The entire surface and body of the concrete has deteriorated to an unstable condition. This concrete must be scheduled for immediate replacement.

  3. Replaced concrete sections shall include the following:
    1. Repair of the condition that caused the concrete to fail.
    2. Installation of expansion joints material at the point the new and existing concrete meet.
    3. Use red stone aggregate or fibercrete concrete to reduce spalling.
    4. Allow time for concrete to cure properly before subjecting it to heavy foot or vehicle traffic.
    5. Repair of the adjoining lawn areas.

  4. Replaced or new concrete primary sidewalks shall include:
    1. All primary sidewalks shall be a minimum of 5 ft. wide.
    2. All primary sidewalks shall be a minimum of 4 inches thick and constructed of fibercrete or cement reinforced by wire mesh.
    3. All primary sidewalks shall be dowel pinned to the building foundation with ½ inch re-bar dowels wherever the sidewalk meets a door stoop.
    4. All primary sidewalks shall have an ADA approved approach curb cut wherever the sidewalk intersects a curb or other obstruction.
    5. No new primary sidewalk shall be installed with a degree of slope greater than specified in the ADA.
    6. All new concrete driveways and door stoops shall include reinforced concrete footings or four reinforced concrete piers (12 " x 4 ft deep) and shall be dowel pinned with ½ inch re-bar to insure the new slab does not heave or pull away from the building.

  5. Preventive Maintenance
    1. Insure water is channeled away from sidewalks and patios.
    2. Pull and spray weeds and grasses that intrude into cracks.
    3. Seal all cracks in an approved manner in a timely way.
    4. Keep concrete surfaces clean and free of ice and debris.
    5. Use only approved concrete friendly de-icing chemicals.
    6. Repair or replace damaged concrete as soon as possible.

  6. Replacement of curbs, islands and other concrete structures associated with parking lots should be planned and scheduled to coincide with repairs or overlayment of the parking lot asphalt surface.

Approved by: Ron Wood, President
Date: July 1, 2003
History & Revision: