Concrete cancer, also known as concrete deterioration, is a process that occurs when steel reinforcement inside a concrete slab begins to rust. As the steel oxidizes, it expands and displaces the surrounding concrete, causing it to become brittle and crack. This process can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor waterproofing, formation of saltwater chlorides in buildings near the sea, construction defects, weather, poor quality concrete and insufficient concrete cover, and ground movement under construction that causes cracks. The first telltale sign of concrete cancer is the presence of ferrous stains on the concrete surface.
To prevent concrete cancer from occurring, it is important to have the concrete sealed regularly to protect it against water damage and wear and tear. Additionally, investing in good quality waterproofing membranes can help minimize the chances of water leaks. It is also important to repair minor cracks and other damage to the concrete as soon as they are noticed. If you suspect that your building has concrete cancer in any form, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
A structural engineer can accurately diagnose cancer in concrete and recommend an appropriate solution. In severe cases, additional reinforcing steel anodes may be recommended before applying new concrete or the steel may need to be replaced. Concrete cancer is a serious issue that can cause significant damage to a building if left untreated. It is important to understand the specific causes of cancer before appropriate treatment can be applied.
By taking preventive measures such as regular sealing and waterproofing, you can help protect your building from this destructive process.
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