During the initial design of any kind of hydraulic works and of its application, it is basic to consider all the elements to control the work in the next years too.
Initially and, unfortunately, sometimes still nowadays, it is common to think that the work don’t need any kind of control when it is finished and it runs; so, the maintenance activities are the minimum.
Over the years and the climate change, the importance of a regular maintenance of the work in all its parts is increasingly confirmed, both according to econominc savings over time and according to environmental sustainability.
Protection of the membrane
It is necessary to protect the membrane to ensure a good durability of the works. There are external factors possibly damaging the membrane, like UV-radiation, vandalism, oils and the presence of chemical products. The protective layer, that must cover and protect the membrane, is usually composed of sand, concrete or gravel. It is necessary to check all the characteristics of the materials used (natural or synthetic), in order to be sure of their compatibility with the chosen membrane. Therefore, trials must be carried out on site to find out the best combination. If there is no protection of the membrane, it is necessary to place a reinforcement membrane, in the exposed areas, in order to mainly ensure its durability from the external factors.
An adequate protection of the membrane is absolutely necessary for the follwoing reasons:
- extremely cold or warm temperature;
- considerable changes of diurnal-nocturnal temperature;
- particular atmospheric conditions (such as frost, hail, wind, …**);
- mechanical damages (blunt instruments, vandalism);
- influence of UV-radiation in exposed areas.
In next articles, we’ll deal with some maintenance plans and our general advices.