Care of Metal Forms
Purchasing metal forms to place concrete can be expensive. However, if your flatwork forms, curb and gutter forms, paving forms, or even specially designed custom forms are cared for properly, they can provide years, and even decades, of useful service.
The use of release agents for the form surfaces is recommended in a number of the tips. The use of a release agent helps to ensure that concrete will not stick to the forms damaging the integrity of the placement and also preventing damage to the forms themselves when trying to remove hardened concrete from them. Forms with hardened concrete permanently attached can weigh significantly more than clean forms.
Taking proper care of concrete placement forms will ensure a long, cost-effective, life.
Apply, by sprayer or brush, a release agent such as Burke-Bio Release, Unitex-Form Release Gold, Symons-Magic Coat, or an equivalent product, to the face of the forms that will be exposed to the concrete.
DURING FORM USE
- Ensure forms are securely staked into the ground to prevent blowouts or form buckling.
- Check to see if the forms are fit tightly together to prevent movement and potential form damage during the concrete placement.
- Remove nail stakes or form pins with a stake puller to prevent damaging the stake pocket, denting the form, or bending the nail stake or form pin.
CLEANUP AND MAINTENANCE
- Inspect forms after each use for attached concrete.
- Remove concrete residue from the forms with a scraper or wire brush.
- Closely examine the backs of the forms or the insides of the form rails for concrete buildup and remove if it exists.
- After clean up, coat the face of the forms lightly with a form release agent to prevent corrosion using either a spray or brush on application.
- Store metal concrete placement forms inside an enclosed facility to minimize exposure to the elements.
- Store the forms under open-walled, but roofed area, or in the worst case, place the forms under a securely fastened waterproof tarp.
- Spray or brush the form surfaces liberally with release agent if the form storage is expected to be longer than 1 month.