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Do You See Cracks In Your Concrete Stave Silo Walls?

Ways to Prevent Silo Failure

Posted by Dennis Blauser, April 1, 2020

Concrete stave silos are constructed using precast concrete blocks, or staves, that interlock. Stave silos are reinforced with exterior, galvanized steel hoops which help compress walls and provide the necessary tension for structural integrity.

When it comes to the structural integrity of your concrete stave silo, it’s important to look at the condition of the exterior wall and the exterior steel hoops. When inspecting your stave silo, you want to look specifically for cracks in the staves or bulges in the wall.

If you see cracks in the staves, you need to decide what kind of crack you’re seeing. Here are the types to look for – horizontal, vertical, or diagonal cracks – or more severely, when you see an offset and it appears the wall is starting to move. The upper wall is pushing out over the lower wall above a horizontal crack.

If you have a crack and it’s starting to move and expand, this is a sign of silo failure and it’s time to call in the experts.

It’s equally essential to look at the exterior steel hoops because they maintain the structural integrity of the silo; their stability is vital to the health and safety of the silo. The exterior hoops shouldn’t be bent, broken, falling off or lying on the ground. It’s also important to make sure the hoops aren’t heavily corroded. Hoops are bolted together with a lug and the lug can be problematic if it beings to corrode. The hoops are tensioned to a specific rating and pressure so it’s essential that the hoop has not been welded to and stands independently.  

One of our recent case studies examines a cracking stave silo and provides further proof on the importance of keeping a proactive maintenance schedule which includes inspecting your silo regularly. Silo inspection is the most effective, preventative method to ensure the integrity of your concrete stave silo.  

To learn more, be sure to check out our full library of silo inspection videos on silo maintenance, inspection and repair on