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Industrial Access conducted a condition assessment of a concrete stave silo. A comprehensive inspection was performed utilizing expert rope access techniques. Based on the inspection findings, Industrial Access developed a plan of strategic recommendations for repairs, enabling the facility to always remain one step ahead.


1 day for exterior and interior inspection


Only a small crew required


Completed with no safety compromises


A manufacturing plant in the southern United States was scheduled for a Class II exterior and interior inspection for their concrete stave silo. The structure was 55’ in height and 26’ in diameter, made up of reinforced concrete with plaster coating. The client needed a quickly responding contractor to inspect and evaluate the condition of the silo and identify any areas in need of repair services.


Access approach during silo inspections is situational and determined by each silo’s structure and environment. Fortunately, Industrial Access (IA) has trained and certified technicians who are experts at rope access techniques. Rope access is the most efficient and cost-effective solution when it comes to inspections of confined spaces. In this particular silo, a ladder system was available for some exterior access, but the crew primarily relied on efficient rope access rigging for both interior and exterior inspection procedures.


An evaluation was performed of the significance of any detected degradation, deterioration, malfunction or damage to the concrete stave silo. The process consisted of a close visual inspection, Ultrasonic Thickness (UT) and Rebound Hammer (RH) readings. IA’s experts provided the plant with an elaborate report detailing testing results and observed anomalies. The silo exterior was identified to be in poor condition while the interior was concluded to be in fair condition.

Most concerns had to do with safety issues as well as risk to the structural integrity of the silo. The crew had observed long cracks on the exterior wall, multiple structural elements found loose or failing, many missing bolts, severe oxidation and spalling of structural components, ladders and safety structures, failure of cementitious as well as protective coatings, limestone buildup inside the silo, minor damage to the roof, and more. The ladder system was determined to be in especially poor condition because of heavy corrosion, coating failure, missing bolts, improper connections, deformed safety rail, etc. Rebound Hammer (RH) readings indicated that there was some potential reduction in the strength of the concrete staves.


To conclude the inspection, IA provided the client with a list of repair and maintenance recommendations classified based on their urgency. One of the most immediate concerns was the overhead falling object hazard caused by the abandoned objects and loose structural elements on and around the silo exterior. Extending cracks across the walls were recommended to be repaired by injecting epoxy concrete compound to restore and preserve silo wall’s structural integrity. Silo appurtenances as well as tension bands, ladder and other steel elements should be cleaned, repaired and coated to prevent further corrosion. The buildup inside the silo and its cone should be closely inspected to ensure no signs of damage are present.

Overall, the inspection was completed successfully, enabling the plant to recognize the condition of the silo and determine their further steps towards mitigating any associated risks. When it comes to inspections, it is highly recommended not to wait for signs of present anomalies before scheduling a condition assessment. Silos should be regularly assessed to ensure that all of the components are in good condition and not putting the facility at risk with potentially irreparable damage. Routine inspections and maintenance are crucial in ensuring safety and preventing extensive future repairs.

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