The Dangers of Concrete Chipping

Learn about the dangers associated with concrete chipping and how it can lead to structural damage and hazardous conditions for people living or working in high-rise buildings.

The Dangers of Concrete Chipping

The peeling of concrete, also known as 'concrete cancer', can cause serious hazards, public injury and loss of property. It has the ability to damage the entire structure, including the rebar inside the concrete. It is essential to address chipping problems as soon as they start to occur. The ingress of water can lead to more than just leaks and flaking, it can cause hazards associated with peeling.

Chipping can lead to a variety of issues for property owners, including structural problems and costly repairs, not to mention lack of visibility. When steel starts to expand inside the concrete, it will only be a matter of time before the concrete breaks. This rupture causes both small and large pieces of concrete to be displaced, creating shrapnel. It goes without saying that concrete chips are potentially dangerous and even life-threatening.

In high-rise buildings, they can damage the properties below or even make contact with a person.

Descaled concrete should be

repaired immediately, as it will spread and get worse. Eventually, the rusty rebar will make the structure unsafe. Cracks are normal in concrete, but they tend to ruin its appearance and strength by appearing in random places.

A professional should understand the importance of solid reinforcement and how to properly place control joints. The crumbling of concrete is not only unsightly, but can also be a sign of serious damage under the structure. CPT carries out concrete testing work, as well as manufacturing state-of-the-art corrosion control technology. Delamination and descaling offer greater access of air and water to the reinforcing steel within that member; thus creating a corrosion cycle and increased access for corrosive elements that exacerbate the process with each subsequent cycle. If left unchecked, the husking will tend to accelerate and spread, so that eventually the structure could become unstable.

To fix a concrete wall that is chipping, you must first cut the concrete around the chipped area. It is important to understand where the husking comes from so that future projects are created with the idea of avoiding this problem. The combination of corrosion peeling and delamination of concrete along the edges of balconies and protruding edges of buildings creates conditions of rubble falling on the perimeter of the building and unsafe conditions below. If your property has a chipping problem, you will also notice loose pieces of concrete, pitting and rust stains. Descaling tends to be more common in cold climates when defrosting chemicals are applied or when seasonal freeze-thaw cycles damage concrete.

However, the most common cause of chipping is corrosion of embedded steel reinforcing bars or steel sections. Serving Kauai, HI for nearly 50 years, its contractors have decades of experience in chipping repairs, as well as other home-building projects. Along several perimeters of balconies, this displaced reinforcement was loose and “sunk” at the bottom of the balcony, with relatively large pieces of concrete delaminating along the reinforcement. It is essential for property owners to understand that chipping can lead to serious problems such as structural damage and costly repairs. In addition, it can create hazardous conditions for people living or working in high-rise buildings due to falling debris. Descaled concrete should be repaired immediately in order to prevent further damage from occurring due to corrosion or freeze-thaw cycles. To fix a wall that is chipping, you must first cut around the chipped area and understand where it came from in order to avoid this problem in future projects.

Experienced professionals should understand how important solid reinforcement is and how to properly place control joints.