What is Concrete Cancer or Spalling

What is Concrete Cancer?

The term ‘concrete cancer’ refers to concrete degradation caused by the presence of contaminants that lead to the steel reinforcements to expand, thus causing the surrounding concrete to crack and undermining the strength of the building. There are several causes of concrete degradation, which includes:

  • Water penetration can cause the concrete reinforcement to rust and expand, which, in turn, creates stresses on the surrounding concrete, which can then break away – otherwise known as spalling.
  • The use or presence of chloride-based compounds, together with reduced alkalinity, may cause corrosion of the reinforcing steel bars then expansion and spalling.
  • When the cement component slowly reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide it forms a slight acid, which reduces the alkalinity of the concrete and allows the reinforcement to corrode. The structure will begin to deteriorate as cracks begin to appear, allowing rainwater to penetrate and cause concrete spalling.

The skilled contractors at Andersal can effectively make a complete restoration of your structure’s integrity by removing the damaged concrete, treating or replacing and retying reinforcement and applying a suitably designed concrete mix in order to prevent future spalling.