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  • Matt Bohm

What is Concrete Cancer?

Concrete cancer sounds like a strange term but it is real and is used to describe the spalling and degradation of concrete. This can happen to concrete stumps used in housing as well as other structural formations used in building.

Concrete is a porous material, meaning it allows some water and air to seep through. This in turn may come into contact with the rebar and cause corrosion. Once water has made contact with the re-bar inside the concrete, naturally it starts to rust.

This rusting starts if:

  • Poorly treated rebar was used during construction.

  • There were any existing cracks in the concrete from bad workmanship.

  • Water was left pooling on the concrete letting it seep in.

  • The rebar is located too close to the surface of the concrete.

  • The concrete was of a poor quality and allowed air pockets to form.

Once the steel inside the concrete starts to rust it will begin to expand, causing stress to the concrete and creating larger fractures and spalling. From this degradation, more water and air is able to infiltrate the concrete, further damaging the steel and exacerbating the initial issue and accelerating the speed of corrosion.

Buildings near the ocean are generally more prone to concrete cancer due to salt water in the air entering the concrete. Environmental factors such as earth movement can also cause initial cracking in the concrete, marking the beginning of the degradation.

Structurally, concrete cancer is a serious concern as it leads to a weakened slab, stump, foundation or pillar with either cosmetic or serious structural damage. This must always be addressed by an experienced professional and should the concrete cancer be left unchecked, can become a high cost rectification process.

Regular visual inspections should be carried out throughout the year by the property owner, however if you are buying a property and are concerned, it is imperative that you get a professional in to complete a pre-purchase inspection.

Bohm Industries is able to do site visits to check for signs of concrete cancer on your property. Should signs of it be detected, we will then discuss with you the variety of remediation and replacement options for you.


Contact us today through matt.bohm@bohmindustries.com.au or call today on 0438 866 627 if you are concerned about your property.


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