The Dangers of Concrete Peeling and Chipping

Learn about what causes concrete peeling & chipping & how it affects structural integrity & leads to higher repair costs. Find out how our team can help.

The Dangers of Concrete Peeling and Chipping

Concrete is a porous material, which means it absorbs the acid created during the descaling process. This accelerates corrosion and exposes the internal steel structure to air and water, leading to extensive and costly property damage.

Concrete peeling

can ruin the structural integrity of concrete and put property owners at risk of malpractice lawsuits. Damage can occur through pieces of concrete that fall and injure people or property. If concrete peeling is not addressed in a timely manner, it will only lead to higher repair costs as the problem grows and spreads.

Simple concreting or painting over the affected areas will not solve the problems. To affect repairs, “flaked concrete” MUST be removed and any exposed steel MUST be replaced or cleaned and treated. Damage caused by concrete peeling can range from a minor problem that only requires cosmetic repair, but if left unattended, it will become a major problem that can affect the structural integrity of the building and, if left untreated, can cause catastrophic failure of the structural elements of the building. Not taking any action only results in additional damage and increased costs. When the concrete block or masonry splinters, it provides much greater access of water and air to the reinforcing bar. This exposure leads to oxidation of reinforcing bars and has an increasingly negative effect on the structural strength of concrete and reinforcing bars. Descaling can occur after a prolonged period of heavy rain, where floods take a long time to dry out or in basements where moisture and salt are not controlled.

Poor installation, structural overload and lack of mixing of ingredients can also lead to concrete chipping. Scaling is also caused by stress fractures due to bearing weight or general wear that allow water to penetrate the concrete and react with the steel, which causes corrosion of the embedded reinforcing steel because corrosion products (rust) occupy more volume than the original steel, and the resulting pressure splinters concrete. Our team is quite experienced in descaling services we offer and knows how to handle any problem we may encounter in any particular descaling project. The peeling of concrete will begin to damage the concrete and steel reinforcement beams in the concrete slab. Water containing dissolved salts penetrates the concrete and crystallizes inside it when the water evaporates. The symptoms of concrete peeling are flaking, chipping, and large pieces that you see missing from the concrete surface, exposing the aggregate of coarse, rocky concrete.

The most common method to repair flaking on horizontal surfaces is to coat and seal the surface with a resurfacing solution. However, the most common cause of chipping is corrosion of embedded steel reinforcing bars or steel sections. In addition to living near the ocean with open “common area” windows, leaving corridors with carpet and magnesite underneath to be exposed to the elements, which led to the entire block of units having concrete chipping. The reason why some concrete structures exhibit a widespread need for chip repair while others appear to be in good condition is due to a combination of age, maintenance, concrete quality, concrete deck depth and local environmental conditions. Without proper application of a sealant, concrete will absorb moisture and become a haven for mold, as well as being more susceptible to cracking, chipping and pitting. The detriment due to concrete peeling can be easy to detect, however, the cause of the damage is not always obvious. If properly poured and cared for, concrete can last a long time enough to survive a couple of generations of bloody knees and chalk art.

Concrete peeling (also known as concrete cancer) is an aggressive oxidation of steel reinforcing beams in the concrete slab which can be incredibly dangerous to its strength. There are a number of factors that can cause specific cancer and often depends on the unique circumstances of each case; however, most commonly it is caused by weather changes during hardening process or something else happened to prevent it from ever hardening. It is essential for property owners to understand that concrete chipping, if left untreated, can lead to higher repair costs as well as catastrophic failure of structural elements. To avoid such risks it is important to take timely action by removing flaked concrete and replacing any exposed steel. Our team has extensive experience in descaling services we offer so you can rest assured that we know how to handle any problem we may encounter in any particular descaling project.