Living with RCC roof
During the recent decades, reinforced concrete roof, popularly known as RCC, has possibly evolved as the most common roofing solution in India, relegating traditional solutions like clay tiles, stone slabs, wood planks, brick domes and such others to the back seat in the competition. While increased availability of raw materials, flexibilityof construction and possibility of covering larger spaces has elevated RCC to the top position, whether it is really the best option is still debatable.
RCC performs best during the early years with minimal maintenance cost, but as decades pass by, the roof can be a burden, often with irreparable problems. Being cast as a homogeneous element, spot-specific repairs are not possible or even if possible, they may not work effectively. Preventive maintenance strategy can mitigate the problems to some extent, but people believe that RCC roof needs no attention, hence ignore it only to face problems later on! In case the top surface finish is inadequate, the roof itself gets affected over the decades, with reduced life span. Rehabilitation of concrete structures has emerged today as a major profession, suggesting that all is not well with this wonder material..
Unlike the simple local roofing solutions, the concrete solutions come loaded with many structural theories, methods of preparation and prescribed procedures at site, which are not known to majority of concrete workers. Coupled with inadequate technical instruction and expert supervision, vast majority of concrete roofs being done in India tend to suffer from poor quality and integrity. No wonder, numerous problems surface over RCC roofs, despite the idea itself being an advanced technology.