Concrete spalling typically begins when the steel embedded inside the concrete starts to rust. Concrete is a porous material, that water passes through. When water and air mix with rebar, a chemical reaction takes pace where iron oxide, rust is produced.
Iron oxide expands the reinforcing steel up to six time the original volume, imposing significant pressure on the surrounding concrete. These expansive forces can cause the concrete to crack or delaminate, spall and break off. A spall is defined as flakes of material that are broken off a larger solid body. Spalling concrete can create a potential hazard that could possibly flake off and strike someone. Delamination and spalling increase the access of air and water getting to the reinforcing steel. This cycle of steel corrosion decreases its ability to safely carry imposed loads.
Concrete Spalling Repair
Increased maintenance, higher maintenance cost and decreased service life of the concrete is an effect of spalling and delamination.
Environmental conditions can accelerate the process of corrosion as the concrete and steel are exposed to aggressive chemical forces. In coastal regions, like here in Florida, the air is rich with salt and continuously deposits salt on surfaces. These salts dissolve in rainwater and spread throughout the concrete, often leaving efflorescence on the surface.
With Foundation Masters LLC on your team, we can properly address your remediation process. Our Civil Engineer Ken Sands P.E has 21 years of experience in the foundation repair industry. Ken can identify and determine the most efficient and cost-effective repair, by designing and overseeing the concrete remediation. Visible areas of concrete spalling can be marked for partial, selective demolition. For delaminated areas which have not broken off, mechanical and electronic sounding methods can be performed.