Is Chipping of Concrete a Serious Problem?

The peeling of concrete can cause serious hazards and public injury if not addressed immediately. Learn more about chipping problems and how to fix them.

Is Chipping of Concrete a Serious Problem?

The peeling of concrete, also known as 'cancer of the concrete', can cause serious hazards, public injury and loss of public property. It has the potential to damage the entire structure, including the rebar inside the concrete. It is essential to address chipping issues as soon as they start to occur. Chipping is a form of deterioration of concrete or masonry around your home caused by water entering the brick, concrete or natural stone and pushing out the base, causing it to peel and flake off.

This is not just an aesthetic problem, as it can lead to serious structural damage or even cause the entire building to collapse. Therefore, it should be taken seriously. When moisture reaches the reinforcing bar, it poses a major threat to the foundation.

Concrete flaking

is a common issue where part of the surface breaks off, flakes or splinters.

Also known as flaking, it is caused by a weak surface that is vulnerable to damage. One of the many reasons why this occurs is due to a natural process called carbonation. Water quickly seeps into the concrete and causes other elements, particularly the reinforcing bars embedded in the concrete, to corrode. This leads to bulges and cracks on the surface of the concrete. Steel reinforcing bars are often used in concrete for added strength.

Additionally, poor quality steel can lead to chipping. Concrete chipping is a common problem in older concrete structures. Alkalinity, a normal corrosion mechanism, causes the steel bar inserted into concrete to corrode over time. The peeled concrete must be rectified not only by repairing it but also by identifying and correcting the root cause. These variations in coverage take into account that concrete is porous and that a greater concrete cover will significantly reduce the rate of corrosion of steel and subsequent degradation of concrete.

Concrete peeling refers to a common structural defect in which surface concrete (“concrete cover”) falls locally and exposes the steel rebar (“rebar”) underneath. Damage will manifest itself when concrete is exposed to ice or snow, which then melts and penetrates the concrete and freezes. As a result of this, the concrete surface peels off, fractures and ultimately breaks, a phenomenon known as peeling or flaking of concrete. The physical damage that occurs during chipping may be relatively minor, but it is an indication of much more serious problems that need to be addressed immediately. This type of surface failure is more common in colder climates where freeze-thaw cycles and thawing chemicals are prevalent. The peeling of concrete not only affects the aesthetic appearance of the building but also affects its performance and stability in the long term if an immediate remedy is not applied. Usually, foundation chipping can be easily detected with a visual inspection of the foundation since it occurs on the surface of the concrete.

There are other alternatives but doing so helps ensure adequate concrete coverage as indicated by some structural engineers. Once a professional has confirmed that your foundation is structurally sound and that no reinforcement is needed in the basement walls or concrete slab, then repair is relatively straightforward. During fire-fighting operations, water poured onto heated concrete surfaces can also cause flaking. The contractor should pay special attention to corners and edges of exposed concrete when dealing with peeling concrete. Peeling concrete is one of the most common problems in which part of the surface breaks off, flakes or splinters.