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What Is Concrete Spalling? What To Know, The Causes And Repair

Spalling is usually the breaking off of concrete surfaces and could extend to the uppermost layers of the reinforcing steels. Spalling comes in different depths, and concrete spalling usually affects different buildings like a framed building, park, duplex, bridges, and many more. When concrete starts to spall, it ends up leaving the surface patchy and exposes the aggregate within; concrete spalling should be repaired once it is noticed by a reputable company like Galloway Civil Engineering Company to avoid the capacity of the building being jeopardized and the value of the asset being decreased.

What Happens When There is Concrete Spalling?

When there is concrete spalling, it makes the building unattractive. If the building is used continuously by the public, it could be quite dangerous due to the debris constantly falling. Also, when concrete spalling is left unattended, there is a chance to spread so much that the building becomes quite unstable. Therefore, maintenance is imperative and can be handled by the Galloway Civil Engineering Company to make sure such facilities do not become hazardous to the users. Other impacts concrete spalling could have on a building is the decrease of the asset’s value and an increase in maintenance cost.

Causes of Concrete Spalling

Many things could cause concrete spalling, and some of them include:

  • Freezing temperature.
  • The insufficient covering of reinforcing steel.
  • Poor quality of cement used to cover reinforcing steel.
  • Exposure to fire; this could cause the free water inside the concrete to create extensive pressure on the inside of the concrete, leading to concrete spalling.
  • When the joints are not constructed properly, this could lead to joint spalling.
  • When the reinforcing steel starts to get corroded, and the corroded steel is far more than the original steel, the pressure begins to spall the concrete.
  • When there is an Alkali-Silica Reaction, the extensive effect could lead to concrete spalling.

Repair of Concrete Spalling

Repairing concrete spalling usually depends on the level of damage done, the type of concrete structure, and its location. There are different ways to repair a concrete spalling, and Galloway Civil Engineering Company can effectively handle any repair; below is the process involved.

Clean the Area

To get started, it is important to clean up the area which requires repair. Sometimes, dirt might have built up in the affected area and therefore requires a pressure washer for proper cleaning.

Take Out the Loose Concrete

Removing the broken concrete can be done with a hammer and chisel or in some casing shot blasting. To check if the surrounding areas have been affected, it is advised that you tap it with a hammer, and when you hear a hollow sound, it is deteriorated and needs to be removed to avoid future repairs.

Clean and Recoat the Rusted Steel Bars

Clean up the reinforced steel bar to avoid corrosion and wipe away dirt with a wire brush and then reapply a protective coating over it to prevent any form of corrosion in the future.

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