Concrete Condition Surveys
Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel
Steel reinforcement is commonly incorporated into concrete to enhance its tensile and flexural strength, allowing us to form shapes such as columns, beams, lintels, and arches to frame and support other building elements. Yet the largest single cause of deterioration in reinforced-concrete structures is corrosion of the reinforcing steel itself. This could be due to several different causes, such as the inclusion or penetration of inappropriate chemicals within the concrete mix itself, or due to external physical factors such as freeze-thaw action.
The key to resolving these defects is to employ a proven repair system that covers all aspects, from the correct diagnose of the underlying causes, all the way through to choosing the appropriate materials and repair methods.
To achieve this, Frescrete undertakes concrete repairs in accordance with the industry standard BS EN 1504, Products and Systems for the Protection and Repair of Concrete Structures.
Visual and Physical Assessment
Small cracks on the surface of reinforced concrete can be the tell-tale signs of moisture penetration, carbonation of the concrete, or chloride attack, which, if left untreated, can lead to corrosion of the steel reinforcement.
Once this sets in, the rusting steel can expand to up to six times its normal diameter, causing hazardous spalling of concrete and potentially leading to loss of structural integrity.
Using a cover meter to establish the reinforcement depth, a combination of hammer testing for soundness, incremental depth testing with phenolphthalein solution (“phenol”) and drilled sampling for chlorides via independent test laboratories can quickly reveal how best to approach the repair methods.
Frescrete also undertakes brick cavity and wall tie inspections, and performs pull out or tensile testing on substrates using calibrated instruments.