Guide To Identifying Weak Concrete

weak concrete

Understanding The Issues That Could Arise With Concrete

Most buildings these days feature some form of reinforced concrete. This is as a result of its strength and ability to withstand heat. Unfortunately, while this structure is durable in most cases, it can just as easily become almost brittle under pressure. Knowing how to identify issues and knowing how to fix them is important in maintaining the structure of the building.

Some of the more common causes for concrete to become unstable includes exposure to the elements, chemical damage, poor support, impact damage, and increasingly heavy loads. The most common culprit, however, involves corrosion of the steel found within the concrete. As the steel rusts, it takes up more space which can cause cracks and breaks in the concrete. This is in addition to the rusted steel breaking down and not providing the necessary support.

The Inconvenient Truth Of It All

The process of corrosion is natural and can be difficult to avoid all together. And when you consider the fact that buildings are exposed to nature’s forces, it is easy to see why concrete can fail. Internal factors such as bathrooms and kitchens can also accelerate the process of corrosion. Things that will determine the extent of corrosion include the quality of the concrete, the steel depth, and environmental conditions.

Top Five Reasons For Crumbing Concrete

1.      Carbonation: An ingress of acidic gasses results in the concrete’s alkalinity levels declining. This often occurs as a result of carbon dioxide in the environment. Alkaline environments offer a layer of protection from corrosion, but as the concrete becomes carbonated, it will break down.

2.      Chloride attack: Often used as an accelerator, chloride is often present in concrete. However, when it is present in large enough quantities and able to reach the steel, corrosion can begin to take place.

3.      Inferior materials: Using incorrect materials or opting for cheap alternatives can contribute to the concrete issues. When mixed, the correct ratios need to be followed. Deviating from the “recipe” will have disastrous results. So, follow the instructions and shop for quality products.

4.      Air bubbles: Air can become trapped as a result of poor finishing and will impact the strength of the concrete and compromise the structure’s integrity.

5.      Excessive weight: Certain concrete mixtures will have different strengths. You need to select the correct concrete for the task at hand and remember the load capacity at all times. Failure to do so will overload the structure.