Concrete Cancer—Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Concrete is one of the most robust and versatile construction materials. However, it is also predisposed to wear and tear. With usage and time, different types of defects may start to appear. 

Many factors can contribute to these defects. The causes can be as varied as design loopholes, overloading and also structural deficiencies. Environmental factors and natural hazards can also cause concrete defects that need urgent concrete repair. 

But in today’s article, we will guide you through a common defect known as concrete cancer or concrete spalling. Let’s begin. 

What is Concrete Cancer? 

Concrete cancer is a defect that happens when the steel reinforcement embedded in the concrete begins to rust due to the presence of moisture. As the steel reinforcement corrodes, it expands. As a result, the surrounding concrete damages and starts cracking. This allows more moisture to penetrate the concrete and further corrode the steel reinforcement.

The term concrete cancer is self-explanatory that these conditions spread rapidly. A reliable concrete repair contractor must examine and repair it. Because if delayed, it can significantly impact the building structures making concrete cancer repair more expensive and challenging. 

Symptoms of Concrete Cancer: 

Some of the more obvious signs of concrete cancer are:

  • Cracking/flaking of concrete.
  • Rust staining on the outer surface of concrete.
  • Drummy or loose render. 

Causes of Concrete Cancer:

A variety of factors can cause concrete cancer, including malpractices in the construction process, and some involve unavoidable natural factors. 

Some of the common ones are:

  • Poorly prepared and placed concrete during construction. This can allow moisture into the concrete inducing concrete cancer. 
  • Incorrect spacing and placement of the steel reinforcement during the construction process.
  • Insufficient concrete coverage over the steel reinforcement.
  • Stress fractures or surface degradation over time can result in water penetration into the concrete and provide a perfect environment for corrosion. This later causes concrete cancer. 

What are Concrete Repair Solutions For Concrete Cancer?

BIM Sydney is a leading specialist in the concrete repair industry. No job is impossible for us. Our 3 step process for the treatment of concrete cancer is functional and efficient. 

First, we examine your site and locate the cause of concrete cancer. Next, we remove all affected concrete, remove any corrosion from the underlying steel reinforcement and treat it with a protective coating.  Finally, we replace and restore the original concrete and waterproof the treated area to reduce the risk of concrete cancer occurring again.

For a guaranteed successful outcome for your concrete cancer repairs, talk to one of our specialists about your project today.