Identifying Concrete Cancer: How to Spot the Signs

Common signs of concrete cancer include cracking, crumbling, or flaking of concrete, rust spots or bubbles on concrete or cement plaster, and leaks in the ceiling and walls. Concrete cancer occurs when steel reinforcement inside a concrete slab begins to rust. As steel oxidizes, it expands and displaces the surrounding concrete, causing it to become brittle and crack, compounding the problem. One of the most obvious signs of concrete cancer is chipping.

However, before visible cracks form, other indicators such as concrete crumbling, internal wall leaks, expanding walls, bubbling concrete, and rust spots can tell you what is happening inside the walls. Ferrous stains on the concrete surface are a telltale sign of corrosion. If the steel rusts inside the concrete, rusty water can purge the steel to the surface, leaving brown spots on the surface. If corrosion has advanced to the point where the steel is expanding, it will usually begin to cause the concrete to crack or break (known as chipped concrete).

The resistivity test is a non-destructive way to measure the condition of a concrete structure and detect chloride (salt) contamination. When we measure the resistivity of concrete, we determine if the concrete structure is corroding and at what speed. This test can be very useful when combined with the half-cell potential test to locate potential areas of corrosion. Flat concrete roofs are particularly vulnerable to leaks and water-driven cancer if they are not properly waterproofed.

To identify a particular cancer and take appropriate steps when treating it, you should understand what specific cancer is, what you can do about it, the importance of getting expert help, and how you can prevent it from happening again. Older buildings usually have a concrete water tank which is exposed to moisture and therefore will have problems over time. Consider high-quality waterproofing options such as Wolfin or Cosmofin waterproofing membranes to seal new horizontal concrete surfaces. This can help prevent corrosion that ruptures the concrete.

The half-cell potential test provides an indicator of existing corrosion levels of metals within concrete or corrosive potential of these metals. You can be assured of quality workmanship and a specialized solution that covers structural remediation of concrete, steel or wood. If you suspect signs of concrete shedding in a building you own, you first need to get expert opinion to assess the damage. Because concrete is porous, it can absorb water and salt air very easily, corroding the steel inside.

This is when certain molecules and materials in concrete react with alkali found in moisture and water in the pores. The term 'concrete cancer' refers to chipping, erosion, and damage or degradation that occurs when concrete is subject to certain conditions. While this generally keeps the structure of a building high, this combination of materials can also lead to cancer in the concrete, especially in buildings with inadequate waterproofing or construction defects.

Sophia Harris
Sophia Harris

Web evangelist. Certified food evangelist. Certified twitter expert. Freelance social media aficionado. Proud tv fanatic.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required