For most precasters, forms are one of their most valuable pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, they are often treated with little or no respect. With proper maintenance and handling, however, forms can have a working life of 25 years or more. Here are some tips to help ensure that the forms you purchase will still be around well into the next century. 1. Keep hammers away from forms. Use scrapers, not hammers, to clean buildup off forms. 2. Handle forms carefully. Don't use excessive force to break forms loose. Forms should not be thrown down or stacked haphazardly. 3. Clean forms without delay, while the concrete is still green. 4. Clean forms thoroughly. Make sure joints, seams, screed rails, and corners, are completely cleaned. 5. Don't neglect the outside of forms. Some producers sandblast and paint the outside of their forms every few years. 6. Lubricate fittings and hinge points. 7. Use care in repairing or modifying forms. Excessive heat (from welding, grinding or cutting) can cause forms to deform. 8. Train workers in proper form use and care. Explain that properly maintained forms make their jobs easier. 9. Store forms properly. Forms should be off the ground and covered with rust preventative.