Concrete cancer, also known as concrete chipping, is a serious problem that can cause structural damage to buildings and other structures. It occurs when steel reinforcement inside a concrete slab begins to rust, causing it to expand and displace the surrounding concrete, making it brittle and prone to cracking. There are several common causes of concrete cancer, including poor waterproofing, saltwater chlorides in buildings near the sea, construction defects, weather, poor quality concrete and insufficient concrete cover, and ground movement under construction. The most obvious sign of concrete cancer is chipping, but other signs include bubbling concrete plaster and roof leaks, internal wall leaks, or outwardly expanding concrete.
If left untreated, concrete cancer can cause serious structural integrity issues and require costly repairs or even complete replacement. Fortunately, it is possible to treat concrete cancer in some cases. To do so, it is important to identify the specific causes of the problem and then apply an appropriate solution. This may involve using a polymer-modified repair system for situations where concrete carbonation and low concrete coverage are the problem.
After the underlying steel and concrete have been repaired, they should be properly cured with specialized coatings. Additionally, waterproofing and integral sealing after repair are important to minimize the risk of future problems. At Effective Building & Consultancy, we have more than 20 years of experience repairing Sydney houses and buildings against concrete chipping or concrete cancer. If you suspect your building may be suffering from this issue, contact us today for a free consultation.