Concrete Cancer Driving Strata Owners to Bankruptcy

February 20, 2015

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The Courier Mail reports on a slew of concrete cancer riddled apartment buildings now threatening to cost strata owners billions.


 

A recent Queensland incident has once again highlighted the importance of quick response times when it comes to battling the devastating effects of concrete cancer.

The Courier Mail has reported that an “epidemic of concrete cancer in older buildings will bankrupt many high-rise unit owners, with blocks facing billions of dollars in repair.” More worrying is the claim of a cover-up. The Courier claims key industry figures are pointing the finger at body corporates; accusing them of disguising the visible symptoms of concrete cancer.

Queensland’s and Sydney’s skylines are studded with 60’s, 70’s and 80’s apartment buildings. Some are cherished icons, while others are left to languish under neglect. Tragically, decades of disintegration turns these once loved homes into nothing but condemned ruins.

The strata’s body corporate often has the most to lose financially from a bad case of concrete spalling. And their inaction can expose the community to even greater risks when infected buildings start falling apart. As concrete starts to shed, the remnants may well plummet to the ground. Both people and property are at an increased chance of harm. And title owners expose themselves to costly negligence claims.

What do we mean by concrete cancer?

The term ‘concrete cancer’ refers to concrete degradation caused by the presence of contaminants. This eventually results in a building’s steel reinforcements expanding. As the steel swells, the surrounding concrete begins to crack, undermining the overall integrity and strength of the building.

Here’s what you need to look out for to protect your investment:

    • Cracking or flaking concrete – aka “concrete spalling;”
    • Rust stains which seem to be leaking out from within the concrete;
    • The often-seen bubbling of concrete render, or;
    • Leaks which appear in the roof or from within the internal walls.

 

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Letting concrete cancer get out of hand can end up costing you big time.

According to the City Futures Research Centre’s report, “Managing Major Repairs in Residential Strata Developments in New South Wales,” many balconies built in the 1960s and 1970s are now failing due to concrete cancer. The cost to an extremely damaged balcony alone can be anywhere between $8,000 and $30,000.

Rest assured, it doesn’t have to be that way – concrete cancer can be treated early and restored to last a lifetime.

Over the upcoming month we’ll be featuring expert advice from both our Andersal consulting team and trusted experts in construction law and conveyancing. We’ll be covering everything from concrete-cancer busting new technology, to what you should be looking out for when investing in a new or established property.

Want more now? Take a look at our beautiful visual story of how we saved a special slice at world-famous Bondi Beach. Click here.