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What You Need to Know About Cracking Concrete or Concrete Cancer

The test of time is long and harsh, even for the toughest of materials.
Here in Australia, homes, as well as offices, undergo changes in their appearance. The appearance of your home or most importantly, your building holds a crucial importance. It can either leave out a great impression to the client or if not maintained as well, it can deter them.


Often times, people choose to power washing to give their concrete a nice, thorough bath which whips the dust right off the walls but overdoing it is a bad idea. Too much pressure can damage the concrete and if the concrete is already cracking, power washing does not seem like a bright idea anymore.

Concrete is s structural material used ubiquitously in Australia. This synergistic mix of sediments is highly durable as well as versatile which gives it the ability to withstand extreme weather changes. Additionally, concrete is also affordable and it does not cost much to maintain it either.

Concrete is an attractive choice for home designers and architects since it can be used in a variety of ways to enhance the aesthetic structural appeal. However, concrete too is vulnerable to wear and tear over the passage of time.

So what is concrete cancer and how does it occur?

You might have heard the colloquial term “concrete cancer” a few times which indicates a number of concrete’s pathologies.
If you have ever paid attention to a building under construction, you will note that the workers use concrete as a structural material but it is not only cement, sand, and rocks, it is also reinforced with steel bars.
Being the alloy that steel is, it is vulnerable to corrosion.
So when the cover coats peel off and it is exposed to air and its humidity, it starts rusting or corroding. At this point, the steel starts start expands with an incredible power, forcing the solid concrete cracking under its immense mechanical pressure.
This reaction is very likely to increase constantly, and the undesirable steel rusting-cycle begins.
What many fail to understand about concrete is that no matter how indestructible and hard it may seem, it does not fully protect the steel from water and air once it still being a porous material and able to absorb substances surrounding.

concrete cancer super render
For cities near the beach, like here in Sydney, the concrete is even more susceptible to damage due to the greater exposure of chlorides from salt water that can enter the concrete.
You ought to look out for signs of concrete cancer which includes cracking, rust stains coming out from the concrete, surface peeling, bubble or oxide leaks in the internal walls or roof.

The ideal solution against concrete cancer

The most cost-effective solution is to break away all the damaged concrete and treat the corroded steel bars.
New steel bars are welded into place and new coats of special mortars are applied but this time, with extra thickness so the new steel is well protected against the elements of nature.
Finally, the new concrete must then be coated generously with a waterproof membrane for extra protection.
As soon it is identified, it is easier and cheaper to be solved.
So remember how important to call the right professionals straightaway as soon as you observe cracks in your house or workplace.


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