Concrete cancer, also known as concrete shedding, is a serious issue that can cause premature aging, deterioration, and durability issues in concrete. It is caused by corrosion of reinforcing steel or other embedded metals, and it can be difficult to detect. Fortunately, there are a few remedies that can help stop the spread of concrete cancer and protect your building from further damage. The first step in treating concrete cancer is to saw off the perimeter of the repair area to remove the edges of the affected concrete.
This is usually done with electric hammers, chisels, concrete saws, and other similar tools. After removing the contaminated concrete, the reinforcing bar must be made resistant to corrosion by applying protective coatings. To further strengthen protection against chloride contamination, a surface treatment in the form of a cathodic system is applied. If the damage caused by concrete cancer is moderate, you may be able to remove damaged concrete, clean and replace oxidized and exposed steel, and fill in cracks.
When carbonation of concrete does not cover steel properly, polymer-modified repair is often used. This method starts by removing the concrete around the affected area and cleaning up the rusted steel. Then, a steel primer is applied and a polymer-modified material is placed on top. Typically, an anti-carbonation sealant is also placed over the entire surface of the concrete to reinforce its strength.
Remedies may include site-specific electrochemical treatment for near-ocean properties or simply removing damaged concrete, cleaning or removing affected steel, and replacing with new material. An anti-carbonation coating or other specialized coating may be applied to strengthen and preserve the concrete. Repairing and filling small cracks will help stop the spread of concrete cancer, but the key to a successful remedy is timely, professional identification and treatment. Waterproofing is one of the most effective remedies for concrete shedding. Projex Group supplies high-end PVC sheet membranes that can be used to waterproof new horizontal concrete surfaces.
Wolfin or Cosmofin waterproofing membranes are two excellent options for sealing new horizontal surfaces. Waterproofing concrete is essential to prevent water or moisture from corroding steel beams. Depending on the cause of the concrete cancer, a licensed structural engineer may recommend different solutions. While it is possible to correct this type of damage in some cases, it is important to take preventive measures such as waterproofing and integral sealing after repair to minimize the risk of concrete cancer in your building.