Concrete Repair

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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.

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Abseiling concrete repairs on silo

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:

Balconies and balustrades (railings) which can lead to safety issues.

Magnesite floor toppings are moisture absorbing and a known cause for accelerating corrosion of steel reinforcement.

Lintels and other structural elements such as concrete beams and columns used to support the building.

Windows and external doors become prone to leaks, wind draughts and moisture penetration.

Cavities between internal and external walls which cause leaks leading to further damage.

Masonry or brickwork as well as the mortar in a building.

Render on exterior walls shows rust stains or that cracks and falls away looks unsightly.

Painting and protective coatings that are used to beautify and seal exterior walls.

Department Of Housing Project

What are the Signs of Concrete Cancer?

Early signs of concrete cancer may include:

Leaks that appear in overhead concrete surfaces.

Reddish / brown tinged stains on the surface of the concrete from early rust.

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.

Read our blog on technologies used to treat concrete cancer:  Methodologies used to Repair Concrete Cancer

What are the Signs of Concrete Spalling?

Advanced stages of concrete cancer will be showing signs of concrete spalling, these signs may include:

Bubbles forming in the paint or concrete render.

Concrete lifting, displacing or crumbling.

Raised sections of tiling or walkway coatings.

Concrete which appears solid, but when tapped shows evidence of air trapped behind it meaning it has started to split into layers.

Small cracks or fissures along concrete surfaces with moisture that can sometimes look crystalised.

To prevent concrete spalling, it is necessary to identify and treat concrete cancer before it destroys the structural integrity of the concrete. Knowing where building defects might exist, allows you to monitor problem areas through regular building inspections and maintenance.

Does your building need repair or an upgrade?

Delays to remedial repairs could cost you more in the long run. Enquire with us for a quote today!
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