While the phrase implies the severity of the damage, concrete cancer can be repaired in some situations. Before you begin, you must first comprehend what concrete cancer is, what you can do about it, the need of seeking professional assistance, and how to prevent it from recurring. Waterproofing is one of the methods for preventing concrete spalling, water seepage and ingress and cracked surfaces.
What is Concrete Cancer?
Steel and iron bars or mesh are used to support concrete in constructions. When exposed to air and water (for example, by leaks from a higher level), a weak carbonic acid forms, corroding the bars. Concrete is a porous substance that absorbs the elements it comes into contact with, including this corrosive acid. When corrosion begins, the steel expands, causing the concrete around it to split, a process known as spalling. Spalling can start a vicious cycle by exposing the steel to the elements and speeding up the corrosion process. The building’s structural integrity is tragically compromised as a result of the impact.
Six common causes of concrete cancer are:
- Inadequate waterproofing
- Chlorides of saltwater for buildings near the sea
- Construction defects
- Inadequate concrete cover and poor concrete quality
- Cracks in the foundation are caused by movement of the earth beneath the structure.
How to Fix Concrete Cancer?
If you suspect your building has been impacted by concrete cancer, have it inspected by an expert (such as a remedial builder or a waterproofing contractor) to determine what type of repairs are required. The sooner you catch it and have it corrected, the more likely you are to avoid overpaying for repairs.
Check for the Defective Areas
Although only a structural engineer can accurately diagnose concrete cancer, you might be able to figure out if your building has been affected by looking for a few tell-tale indications. Common signs include cracked or disintegrating concrete, as well as rust stains coming from the concrete/cement render. Other issues include bubbling concrete render, roof leaks, and internal wall leaks. Concrete that is spreading outwards could be an indication of malignancy.
Working on Concrete Cancer
Every concrete cancer repair operation begins with a thorough examination of the issue. A diagnostic study should be performed by a skilled engineer. Because a repair contractor or repair materials supplier may not be fully equipped to finish the job, working with a structural engineer is critical. The engineer can figure out what’s causing the issue and what has to be fixed.
If you require a comprehensive survey with a great waterproofing finish, contact Sky Chemical Services on call or through Social Media.
Correcting the Problem
The engineer may offer several solutions depending on the source of concrete cancer.
- Solution for a polymer-modified repair system
The engineer may offer a polymer modified repair solution in cases where concrete carbonation and low concrete cover are a problem. Before applying the steel primer and a polymer modified substance, this option eliminates the concrete around the reinforcing bars and cleans the steel. They may also apply a protective anti-carbonation coating to the entire concrete surface. Experts may advocate the use of additional reinforcing steel anodes prior to the application of new concrete or the steel may be replaced in extreme cases.
- Electrochemical process
If a building near the ocean has been contaminated with chloride, expert repair work may be required to treat the concrete cancer. Electrochemical therapy, such as cathodic protection, is one example.
- Simple method of replacement
You might be able to remove the damaged concrete, clean and repair the rusty, exposed steel, and fill in the cracks if the damage isn’t too severe.
- Specialized Coatings
You’ll need to allow the underlying steel and concrete to cure properly after it’s been restored; specialized coatings may be applied at this point. After that, you can have the finishings, paints, and protective coatings restored, making care to include waterproofing.
Minimize Further Concrete Waterproofing
Take precautionary measures once you’ve fixed the concrete cancer to ensure it doesn’t recur again. Concrete must be waterproofed to prevent water from corroding the steel beams. If you’re having any issues working through this process, contact us (Sky Chemical Services) and book an appointment today. This reduces the likelihood of future water damage and prevents harmful substances from entering the concrete through pores. This is a crucial precaution since improper waterproofing, or worse, no waterproofing, could ruin all of your building’s repairs.
Concrete cancer is the rusting of steel bars that are used in constructions of buildings and other structures. This problem can be prevented through coating of different layers or through electrochemical processes. But before working on it, a thorough survey of the place is required which provides a clear assessment of the issue and how it needs to be handled.
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