Concrete cancer, also known as concrete spalling, is a serious problem that can cause extensive and costly property damage. It occurs when steel reinforcement within a concrete slab begins to rust, causing it to expand and displace the surrounding concrete. This makes the concrete brittle and prone to cracking, compounding the problem. Waterproofing concrete is essential to prevent water from corroding steel beams.
High-quality waterproofing options such as Wolfin or Cosmofin waterproofing membranes can be used to seal new horizontal concrete surfaces. This minimizes the risk of future water damage and prevents harsh chemicals from entering through the pores. The term “concrete cancer” is used because cracks further expose steel to the elements, accelerating the level of corrosion and deterioration of the building. An anti-carbonation sealant is also placed over the entire surface of the concrete to reinforce its strength.
There are several causes of concrete cancer, including poor waterproofing or lack of waterproofing, chloride contamination in buildings near the ocean, and defects in the reinforcing metal mesh that do not provide enough protection from the elements. Repairing severely damaged concrete can cost thousands of dollars, so it may not be cost-effective compared to replacing it. Always use concrete from a reputable supplier who can mix the perfect type of concrete for your project. Once the underlying steel and concrete have been repaired, specialized coatings can be used to cure them properly. To prevent concrete cancer, consider high-quality waterproofing options such as Wolfin or Cosmofin waterproofing membranes to seal new horizontal concrete surfaces.
This minimizes the risk of future water damage and prevents harsh chemicals from entering through the pores. If signs of concrete cancer are not detected and addressed early on, the walls of a building could literally fall to the ground. Be sure to check if your contractor has experience treating concrete cancer and if they know you want to repair rather than replace damaged concrete if possible. Concrete cancer is a serious problem that can cause extensive and costly property damage. Taking preventive measures such as using high-quality waterproofing membranes and checking for signs of corrosion early on can help minimize its impact.
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