A great spring maintenance to-do list on the farm is grain bin pad repair. While inspecting the base, check for cracks or chips in the concrete pad. Besides the heavy weight of crops being stored, damage can occur when machinery collides, after frost heaves, and if rodents decide to tunnel underneath.
Damage to the pad can compromise the structural integrity of the entire grain bin, setting you up for bigger problems in the future. Silos can lean and eventually even tumble over. Seals can break leading to easy access for moisture or pests.
Machinery running into the bin? Okay. Ground freezing and thawing creating cracks in the concrete? Makes sense. But a gopher? Really?
Yes. When something burrows underneath your grain bin pad to make a comfy home for the winter, it creates a void that threatens structural integrity. These natural diggers accomplish the damage much quicker than environmental threats such as soil settlement and erosion.
Those voids result in cracked or sinking concrete and sometimes go unnoticed, making them even more dangerous. It is imperative to get tunnels and voids created by burrowing rodents repaired professionally. This isn’t just a simple DIY levelling job with a compound from the hardware store.
First, we drill small holes through the concrete slab. Next, we inject a special foam through those holes which expands and fills the void below. Then, we expertly lift the pad to its proper elevation. The substance used is environmentally friendly and immune to moisture. It’s also resistant to the freeze-thaw cycle minimizing the risk of future damage.
Because grain bins also provide a food source besides a cozy home, it is important to keep your eye out for pests returning. Ensure concrete is well maintained. Crumbling, deteriorating concrete is easier for chewing and therefore more appetizing.
While inspecting your grain bins this spring, also consider the traffic areas around the storage areas. Ensure traffic can move quickly and easily, entrances are properly graded, damage from winter maintenance is repaired, and the ground is able to withstand heavy vehicles without causing ruts or getting stuck.
While it isn’t an obvious first guess, rodents threaten the integrity of concrete structures more than you might think. If you notice or suspect these critters have tunnelled their way under your concrete, reach out today to learn more about how we can help with grain bin pad repair and maintenance.