Driveways: What Are The Causes And Symptoms of Concrete Cancer?

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Driveways: What Are The Causes And Symptoms of Concrete Cancer?

Driveways: What Are The Causes And Symptoms of Concrete Cancer?

21 February 2017
Construction & Contractors, Blog

Granted, concrete is one of the most durable building materials that you could use for your construction needs. However, if not cared for appropriately or installed incorrectly, this material becomes susceptible to concrete cancer. This is when the steel reinforcements within the concrete begin to rust. As this goes on undeterred, it leads to the concrete expanding and eventually having its entire structural integrity compromised through flaking, breakage and more. The following is an outline of some of the things you need to know about concrete cancer. 

What are the causes of concrete cancer?

There are an array of reasons why your structure may develop concrete cancer. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Reinforced steel that was not treated sufficiently before the concrete was poured on it.

  • The steel reinforcements being in close proximity to the surface of the concrete. As such, when moisture seeps into the concrete, it mixes with the limestone and a host of other chemicals, which interact with the steel and cause it to rust prematurely.

  • If different types of metals are used to reinforce the concrete, there is the risk of them reacting with each other, which would result in concrete cancer.

  • Improper installation of lintels on doors and windows, which would increase the concrete's exposure to the elements and cause rusting in the steel reinforcements.

  • In the event the structure is exposed to more weight than it can bear, it will lead to stress fractures. These stress fractures lead to premature wear and tear that allows moisture to make its ways into the interior of the concrete.

It should be noted that superficial attempts to remedy the problems, such as choosing to render the concrete, will only be viable for a short time. This is because the internal damage will still be ongoing, leading to further degradation of the concrete structure.

What are the symptoms of concrete cancer?

Although concrete cancer is one of the more serious problems concrete structures can develop, it typically tends to go undetected to the untrained eye. This is because some people will simply assume these are normal concrete imperfections. Some of the telltale symptoms that you should be wary of include:

  • Brown stains on the concrete that would be indicative of rusting

  • Concrete spalling which presents itself as flaking on the surface of the concrete

  • Bubbles making their way up to the surface of the concrete

  • Signs of leaking on the interior walls of the structure

For more information on concrete cancer, contact a driveway construction company.

About Me
The Benefits of Using Contractors Around Your Home

When my husband and I bought our house, we didn't realise we would eventually have such as large family. First, we had a little girl, followed by two little boys. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant with twins! We love our current property, so we didn't want to move. We decided instead to extend our home to add additional bedrooms and a playroom. We worked closely with various different construction contractors while the job was being completed, and we are really happy with the result. Since then we have used the same contractors to complete many other jobs around our home. This blog is a guide to the benefits of using construction contractors.