Concrete structures are exceedingly prevalent in Southern Florida – it is hard to find a commercial or residential building without them! While concrete is sturdy and typically lasts for quite awhile, it can decline – and when it does, we come in to provide concrete restoration it as quickly and conveniently as possible! There are several standard causes of concrete decline. These include:
- Overloading: When a load exceeds its limit and the underlying steel structure begins to bend, cracks in the concrete and resulting damage is to be expected. It is important to always be aware of the weight limitations of your building, though sometimes overloading is accidental and resulting damage is unavoidable.
- Water Infiltration: Water of any temperature will inevitably cause cathodic corrosion when it is able to interact directly with embedded steel.
- Shock heating: The integrity of concrete is quickly compromised when unexpected heating due to lightning or a fire is involved. If the surface of a roof or other building structure is exposed to rapid heating, the surface will quickly expand – often causing the outer layer to break or crack. Temperature differentials of any kind will negatively impact any concrete structure, thus restoration is often required after any major storm.
- Carbon Dioxide: Calcium hydroxide, found in the concrete mix, is responsible for creating the required alkalinity within the concrete. When carbon dioxide is allowed to react with the calcium hydroxide, it compromises the pH and exposes the steel for corrosion. Carbon dioxide is essentially unavoidable, seeing as it is in the air we breathe! This is why it is important a concrete roof be checked on a regular basis.
- Chlorides: When allowed to penetrate a concrete structure, chlorides pose a serious threat to the longevity of the concrete itself. Chlorides can be found in coastal regions, seawater, deicing salts, and chloride contaminated water that may be used in the mixing process. If chloride makes its way through the concrete and into the steel framework, this may lead to corrosion and cause even more serious issues.
Concrete decline can severely damage a building, and if it is not taken care of as soon as it is noticed the consequences may be permanent and irreparable. Pritts Roofing Maintenance has extensive experience in concrete restoration. Our expertise is in flat roofs, which are very common in regions with warmer climates where freezing temperatures are unlikely to occur. The majority of flat roofs are built of masonry or concrete, and while both materials are good at keeping out the heat of the sun, concrete is ideal in areas that experience heavy rainfall in addition to relatively high temperatures.