Damage to concrete structures arising from concrete cancer and spalling will generally affect the facade of a building or in more serious cases the structure of the building itself.
Concrete is a porous material so if the concrete structure is old or if it hasn’t been constructed or treated correctly, moisture can easily penetrate the concrete.
Concrete cancer is caused when the steel reinforcing within a concrete slab begins to rust. As steel rusts it expands causing the surrounding concrete to be displaced. As the steel pushes the concrete away, more water gets to the steel expediting the process.
The cracking, erosion and displacement of concrete is referred to as concrete spalling. Aside from concrete cancer, concrete spalling can also be caused by building movement.
How are Buildings Affected by Concrete Cancer and Spalling?
With large structures such as strata buildings, commercial buildings and industrial structures concrete cancer and spalling may affect the strength and integrity of different parts of a building:
What are the Signs of Concrete Cancer?
Early signs of concrete cancer may include:
Remedial engineers will be able to identify parts of concrete structures that have building defects and don’t meet minimum building standards and are therefore more likely to lead to concrete cancer.
Advanced stages of concrete cancer will be showing signs of concrete spalling.
What are the Signs of Concrete Spalling?
Early signs of concrete spalling may include: