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Protect Against Concrete Cancer with Concrete Sealing

If your property has concrete surfaces in your driveway and patio as well as retaining walls in your garden or front yard, you should be aware of the signs of concrete cancer to avoid costly damages.

Causes of Concrete Cancer

Concrete cancer is a terrible term but it is used to describe the breakdown of concrete caused by iron oxide leaking from rebars. Because most concrete pads and structures contain steel rebars it is not uncommon for poorly laid, old or rebar applied too close to the surface to cause leaking. Delamination occurs because oxides will expand the steel and begin to crumble, crack and break the cement apart. This is concrete cancer.

 Signs of Concrete Cancer

Here are the early warning signs of concrete cancer:

  • Discolouration can appear on concrete usually in a brownish colour like rust.
  • Crumbling is a sign of delamination, which causes “spalling”.
  • Drumming is a hollow sound you may hear if you tap on or walk over concrete.

Costly Repairs

Concrete repairs can be quite complicated and therefore quite costly. In the best-case scenario cracks can be sealed and repaired so catching cracks early is advisable. In the worst cases, spalling and cracked areas of the concrete has to be removed to allow the rusty steel to be filed and cleaned to remove the rust. If the rebar is too far-gone the rebar and concrete has to be replaced.

Prevention

 Here are the best ways to prevent concrete cancer from occurring:

  • Look for standing water issues and take care of them.
  • Cracks should also be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Have a concrete sealer applied professionally on a regular basis to protect from water damage and wear and tear.

Recognizing the signs of concrete cancer and knowing how to help prevent concrete cancer from setting in will help you avoid costly repairs down the road.