What is Reinforcement Corrosion in Concrete Structures?
In order to reinforce concrete, construction companies have long been using metal rebars placed within the structure in order to ensure the strength and ability to handle tensile stress. This Reinforced Concrete Construction (RCC) has allowed society to replace previously standard building materials (such as brick and mortar, timber, stone) and allowed for larger, stronger, and tougher structures.
It was also believed that the metal rebar would be protected by the concrete around it. The thought was that, by using high quality concrete, the metal would be protected by an alkaline environment created by the concrete. Further corrosion would be halted, or delayed, by the concrete.
However, these structures have not been able to last as long as previously thought because of the reinforcement corrosion. The concrete protection did not work as expected as chloride ions or carbonation caused a lowering of the alkaline levels and increased corrosion. Corroding metals expand, causing cracks and spalling in the concrete. The environment surrounding the concrete structures could also speed up any corrosion as well.
As the concrete cracks and becomes weaker, concrete restoration and repair has become a critical part of the maintenance of any structure. Companies such as Vector Construction have become experts in the art of concrete repair, using their years of experience to properly access the damage and restore the concrete to its previous strength and durability.
Vector Construction can identify the difference stages of concrete damage due to corrosion:
- The formation of white patches in the concrete, which signifies the free movement of water within the concrete
- Brown patches along the reinforcement, which is the first sign of corrosion and rust
- Occurrence of cracks, caused by the expansion of the corroded metal
- Spalling of the concrete cover, when the cover concrete starts peeling off
- Snapping and buckling of the bars within the concrete, which is usually followed by the collapse of the structure
If you’re worried about your concrete structures, contact Vector Construction. We’ll examine your concrete, looking for any signs of degradation, and give your multiple repair and restoration options that can fit your budget.