Engineers are taking a closer look at the concrete bay floor of the new Norwich Township Fire Station 81, to determine if a technically demanding replacement of the concrete is in order.

Engineers are taking a closer look at the concrete bay floor of the new Norwich Township Fire Station 81, to determine if a technically demanding replacement of the concrete is in order.

Fire Chief Dave Long said members of the department noticed some problems with the bay floor a few months after they moved last December.

"Right now it's just one of those building issues," Long said. "The thing about concrete is: it cracks. This is one of those things where we have to determine if it's just normal wear and tear of if it's a problem."

A site visit was conducted by the engineering company Jezerinac, Geers & Associates Inc. earlier this month. In his report, professional engineer Darren Cook noted that concerns had been raised over the development of surface cracking of varying depths, shrinkage cracking, localized scaling, and a general mottled appearance to the finish.

"We observed that both the apparatus bays and the accessory space concrete slabs exhibit a number of quite noticeable surface defects ranging in severity from mottled discoloration to craze cracking with associated finish spalling," the report states.

Also discovered were drying shrinkage cracking, abrasions and surface tears in the concrete. Craze cracking, or "alligator cracking," are a series of very small surface cracks in concrete; spalling is the result of water entering a building material and forcing the surface to peel or flake.

The engineer's report notes that the concerns are "not typically due to the normal wear and tear," and that repairs may be needed.

"We could foresee that over a relatively short period of time, secondary deterioration processes will probably result in the formation of spalling that would negatively impact the performance of the slab," the report states.

Long said the issue of whether or not the floor will need replaced is still in the information gathering phase.

"We don't know yet how much it would cost to fix the floor," Long said. "It is under warranty; we've got a year's warranty from December when we moved in. I would think that something like this would be under the (construction) contract, but those are things we'll have to get to down the road, once the engineers do their examination."

Long informed the Norwich Township Trustees of the situation at the trustees' July 20 meeting.

Trustee Mike Cope said the situation would be presented to the township's attorney for review.

"While we understand the implication to the department, it is likely that the only means by which to address all of the concerns would be to remove and replace the slabs," the engineering report states.

Long said that if repairs are needed to the bay, they should be done during warm weather, so that the fire department's vehicles can be placed in the building's parking lot with minimal weathering.

"We're looking at about a 28-day cure time (for new concrete)," Long said.