Here at Concrete Protection and Repair Services, we pride ourselves on our assisting with Strata living and strata scheme, concrete cancer and concrete spalling repairs.
Strata based common property maintenance, inspection and concrete repair need to be done regularly, particularly after heavy rainfall in strata scheme properties, as this tends to exacerbate any unsealed common property or lot owner concrete cracks, allowing moisture and air (carbon dioxide) to reach the reinforced concrete's reinforcing steel, that ultimately leads to concrete cancer and building defects.
IS CONCRETE CANCER SERIOUS?
Concrete cancer can, and will most likely lead to cracked concrete, rust stains and structural cracks, that will cause structural issues in the strata scheme property, (in both the common property and in any individual lot owner's property); and although concrete spalling occurs, the solution can be as simple as calling Concrete Protection and Repair Services to conduct professional and regular concrete crack repairs and maintenance on the building. This would include sighting any concrete cracking, large cracks and wall cracks, that suggest to the strata manager that concrete spalling is taking place in the common property, which might need unit owners or tenants to provide access before significant structural repairs are needed and cause an expensive repair.
SO WHAT IS CONCRETE CANCER?
Strata affected areas for concrete cancer and spalling repairs might include open and unsealed concrete areas, like uncovered balconies, and might call for replacing any damaged concrete cracking or concrete surface, to expose the steel rebar, so it can be chemically treated in a timely manner, and limit the steel reinforcements damage to manage the financial/safety risk of the building defects for the strata titled property.
SO WHO MAKES THE CALL?
That's right, as much as it's the strata manager arranging the work, it's ultimately the owners corporation and is the collective lot owner's responsibility. If any tenant or apartment owners see uncovered steel reinforcement coming up from the Floor Topping or concrete slabs, then the exposed reinforcing steel can be an entry point to concrete spalling and should be reported to the strata manager.
Equally, any deep or large cracks in concrete allows water and air to make contact with the steel reinforcement which will most likely turn into concrete cancer and if left unchecked will cause building defects.
So in addition to a cosmetic repair, the tensile strength of the affected area is the real cause for a financial and safety risk. Left untreated, rusting steel rebar, which might be identified by rust stains showing from the concrete cracks, will cause a structural issue which will then require a structural engineer to become involved. That means the much more cost-effective solution is maintenance and management. In other words, if the tenants or unit owner sees water leaks, a damaged waterproof membrane, rust stains coming from concrete cracks or significant cracks in a concretes outer finish or even side walls, then the apartment owners need to contact the strata manager to put into place a long term solution for the affected area before it turns into an overly expensive repair.
WILL IT BE AN EXPENSIVE REPAIR AND WILL IT BE A PERMANEBT SOLUTION?
Acting in a timely manner in important. An affected area left untreated will cause building defects and then a structural engineer will also need to be involved. While the cost of concrete spalling repairs are always quoted upfront, and are for the owners corporation to approve the quote with the strata manager before work starts, it's not uncommon for concrete cancer that is left untreated to cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. That being said, here at Concrete Protect and Repair services, we're amongst the more cost-effective concrete spalling repair companies in Sydney.
Remember, the key to avoiding a costly repair for apartment owners is early detection and regular inspections to avoid building defects.
Now waterproofing membrane, and reinforced concrete all have a life-span if left uncheck. As much as the above can cause an expensive repair, it may not even be a permanent solution if water leaks are allowed to penetrate reinforced concrete, if cracks are left unchecked or if steel reinforcement can be allowed to form rust, which is where concrete spalling starts.
So while the cost of concrete spalling can lead to expensive repairs, digging up concrete slabs to expose and treat and structural elements; maintenance is the "concrete cancer" key; and while lot owners and the body corporate can't always have access to keep an eye out for concrete cancer, the body corporate can arrange any strata buildings/strata scheme to be examined by asking the strata manager to contact Concrete Protection and Repair Services. If needed, the strata manager will also arrange the engineering reports, and if concrete spalling is found, the engineering reports will advise on any structural elements or structural cracks that will lead to building defects and will require a strata concrete repair organisation to repair the building defects.
As a strata buildings' concrete surfaces are nearly always common property, it will be the Strata Manager most likely to arrange concrete cancer/concrete structure repair, because rust stains are not always just an eyesore. Structural concrete slabs always contain steel reinforcement which when exposed to carbon dioxide leads to the number one issue facing apartment owners, strata based concrete cancer.
Now because strata based apartment complexes might need unsealed balcony concrete repairing as often every year, a body corporate approved, superficial concrete surface inspection from Concrete Protect and repair Services will reveal cracks in a concrete balcony or concrete floor slab in your building's car park. The most common cause for these cracked balconies, however, is water ingress within the concrete through lack of maintenance and management (basic cleanliness). This will causes salts corrosion to steel reinforcing bars embedded in the concrete.
WHAT IS CONCRETE CANCER AND AND IS IT DIFFERENT FROM CONCRETE SPALLING?
Concrete cancer and concrete spalling are the same concrete problem. Concrete cancer is simply spalling concrete due to cracking and water ingress into the substrate.
Concrete cancer results in a process that causes progressive damage to the integrity of reinforced concrete, usually through water penetration, leading to failure of the reinforcing steel in slab areas.
STEEL REINFORCEMENT BARS IN CONCRETE
The steel rebars in concrete are susceptible to corrosion and therefore they have to be protected. The protection of steel rebars is usually through a concrete cover or through capping with special sealants.
An adequate thickness of concrete cover should provide a measure of protection against corrosion, particularly in the In-situ condition (that is, coated but uncoated bars are embedded in.
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?
A preventative and maintenance solution to protect steel reinforcement and prevent building defects is Epoxy injection. Epoxy injection into strata concrete buildings that have been damaged due to water ingress or cyclonic weather conditions is an action strata managers can make to improve the build quality and extend the life of their building. Epoxy injection repairs can be used for many different things including simple small cracks to prevent real concrete cancer issues.
Concrete Protection and Repairs Services, or a civil engineer, will report that repairing any concrete spalling or cracked sections using epoxy injection methods to strengthen this area increasing its structural integrity will be recommended.
Concrete Protection and Repairs Services, or civil engineers, are also able to inspect your building slab for damages during any other concrete repair jobs, helping each lot owner decide on the best course of action that will be used to restore a strata building defects to its original condition.
WHAT IS EPOXY INJECTION?
Epoxy Injection uses chemicals mixed with special resins that create an adhesive substance called Polyurethane which is usually injected into cracks in concrete slabs and made from ethanolamine elastomer (rubber).
LONG LASTING STRATA CONCRETE CANCER PREVENTION AND CRACKED CONCRETE IN A CONCRETE SURFACE
Once you have your reinforced concrete, free of concrete cracks, we can look at Waterproofing Membrane or the like, chemical seals to prevent the concrete slab from letting moisture into hairline cracks and affecting surrounding concrete structural elements.
STRARA LIVING MIGHT MEAN MAKING AN ALLOWANCE FOR CIVIL STRATA CONCRETE REPAIRS
If there's one thing that Civil Concrete Repair can teach you, it's the ability to adapt to new situations. Civil repairs are a miracle worker for any building owner, thanks to their flexibility and versatility. Civil concrete repairs are a great way of avoiding hefty expenses which you might have otherwise incurred due to the degradation of your building's surface. Strata concrete repairs will usually save on costs as opposed to having an entire lane resurfaced by hand. Our Complete protect and Repair specialists will often apply cement-based epoxy using high-pressure nozzles so that their work is completed quickly and efficiently - even if large areas need repairing.
Our Concrete Protection and Repair Service strata repairs are therefore very durable and long lasting. We can apply remedial concrete repair to the entire strata property, including pathways, balconies and underground carparks.
If your building defects are showing in the concrete age with cracked concrete and rust stains, and you're worried about the building's long term structural integrity, then there's something you can do.
Remember, these issues are not just an eyesore. Call the building's Strata Managers and arrange a walk through with the lot owners permission to identify any building defects and get ahead with chemically treating and repairing the existing reinforcing steel to prevent further concrete spalling from causing the apartment a building defect.
That means if you're an apartment or townhouse lot owner, and you're aware of a potential concrete cancer problem, then have your strata manager call us here at Concrete Protect and Repair Services for all your remedial concrete repair and preventative quotes and needs.