Friday, November 4, 2011

Concrete Cancer

Cancer of the concrete is identified by signs such as flaking, rusting stains which leak out from inside of the concrete. People usually mistake these signs for general weathering or climate or seasonal changes in the respective area. But what they don't understand is that these are problems arising due to the rusting of the reinforced steel inside the concrete due to water penetration.
The rusting of the steel reinforcement is caused by the following few reasons:
  1. Poor treatment of the reinforcement bar used in the concrete.
  2. Conflict between two different metals used or placed too close together.
  3. Fractures or cracks in the concrete which causes the water to penetrate inside and cause the rusting.
As this phenomenon happens, it causes the steel to expand and as a result of this expansion it causes the surrounding concrete to break open allowing all impurities and materials responsible for degradation to enter.

One should note that the phenomenon of concrete cancer is an OH&S hazard. Over a period of time this phenomenon can lead to total breaking of the whole structure and that can cause loss of life and property.

So to prevent this, the best solution is:

  • Removal and replacement of wet area membrane to high rise apartment complexes
  • Leak detection and remediation to balconies of Strata Complexes
  • Internal wet area remediation
  • Regrading substrate and joint sealing for underground car park
  • Water diversion solution for Strata complex’s.


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