- Structural & Concrete Repairs
Concrete and steel are today’s building materials of choice; primarily due to their strength and versatility. However, what many people don't realise is that if reinforcing steel is poorly encapsulated, and allows moisture ingress, then steel and concrete are not a good combination. Why you may ask? Well simply because the minerals within the concrete leach out with exposed exposure to moisture and these cause a reaction when they come into contact with the steel. That reaction is Rust and the impact on your building is potentially huge!
Furthermore, whilst concrete is strong, over time and through exposure to the elements, age or structural damage due to heavy traffic, it is susceptible to deterioration. Of primary concern is concrete spalling (commonly known as concrete cancer) which can be a safety hazard.
Why Concrete Cancer Occurs
Concrete spalling is the phenomenon which occurs when the steel in the slab is exposed to moisture. In this instance, a chemical reaction between the lime of the concrete, the water and the steel takes place. The result is the rusting of the steel reinforcing. As the steel rusts, it expands -possibly up to 7 times its original size - and pushes the concrete around it out.
Why Building Repair is Important
Not only is concrete cancer an eyesore, but left untreated over extended periods of time, it can cause extensive structural problems to the building itself. As rust affects the reinforcing steel, concrete around it cracks and becomes brittle. Where this occurs on the facade of a building, the result can be large chunks of concrete falling to the ground below. Where it occurs on the horizontal surfaces, the result can be excessive amounts of water leaking into the building causing property damage and in some situations damage to the items in the building such as computers, carpets and files.
Ultimately, the underlying causes of concrete decay should be treated as soon as possible. Studies have shown that the sooner you initiate structural building repairs for the purposes of rectifying your structural issues, the more money you will save in both the short and long term. The rationale is simple, deferring your building maintenance will lead to the worsening of your existing problems and through this, increased problems to other aspects of your building, not previously at risk.
For more information on the effects of spalling, or to arrange for a representative to come and discuss your concrete repair in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or other major cities, please contact us today. Alternatively, have a look at our glossary of structural repair terms to better understand the terms used in building repair and what we can do.