What is Concrete Cancer?
Concrete cancer is a serious problem that occurs within concrete and it is caused by the steel reinforcing inside the concrete rusting. As the steel reinforcing rusts, it expands, causing the concrete around the steel to be displaced. As the concrete becomes more displaced, more water gets into the steel, causing more rusting and the problem gets worse. The expansion of the steel causes the concrete to delaminate, and results in spalling. Spalling is where the concrete initially cracks, and then starts to break away. While spalled concrete looks terrible, it can also be dangerous as pieces of concrete fall off and possibly hit people underneath. Spalling also weakens the strength of the concrete.
Concrete cancer can start in a number of ways including using poorly treated reinforcing steel when the concrete is poured, having the ends of the reinforcing too close to the surface so that water can get to it, using incompatible metals (this causes a reaction), and having fractures in the concrete.
Treating Concrete Cancer
If you suspect that you have concrete cancer in any form, it is important that you get treatment as soon as possible otherwise the problems will only get worse. Treatment needs to be done by qualified professionals as poor treatment will only hide and delay the problem. It is not enough to just render over the concrete to hide the rusting steel, as the rusting process will just continue underneath, causing further displacement of the concrete and even necessitating replacement of the reinforcing steel altogether.
If you need assistance in recognising concrete cancer and what steps you need to take call our friendly team here at the Houspect WA office on 08 9240 8855 or email us on [email protected]
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