What Causes Concrete Chipping and How to Prevent It

Chipping is a common problem with steel-reinforced concrete structures. Learn what causes it and how you can prevent it from occurring.

What Causes Concrete Chipping and How to Prevent It

Chipping is a term used to describe areas of concrete that have cracked and delaminated from the substrate. It is characterized by the appearance of cracks and red rust, and in severe cases, the concrete sections are completely detached from the reinforcing steel bar (rebar). There are several causes of chipping, including freeze-thaw cycles, the expansive effects of the alkaline silica reaction, or exposure to fire. However, the most common cause is corrosion of embedded steel reinforcing bars or steel sections.

Corrosive steel can expand up to ten times its original volume, putting stress on the surrounding concrete.Peeling concrete is a common problem where part of the surface flakes off, breaks or splinters. Also known as flaking, it is the result of a weak surface that is susceptible to damage. Concrete shedding describes the state in which concrete begins to degrade or peel off. Salt flaking in concrete is a specific type of wear that occurs on porous building materials such as bricks, natural stone, tiles and concrete.The threat of concrete chipping can be minimized by preparing concrete with the appropriate water-cement ratio, air content and minimum specified compressive strength, and by proper finishing.

Concrete repairs must be carried out in accordance with BS EN 1504, the European and British standard for the repair and protection of reinforced concrete. Over time, due to the force applied by the freezing and thawing cycles together with the internal pressure of the expanded water, the top layer of the concrete tends to come off leaving marks of pits, concrete fragments or chips.Signs of concrete chipping are a chipped and flaky surface, pieces of concrete coming out of the facility, and concrete that begins to crack. More seriously, if the structure is in an area that is accessed by the public or workers, then chipping concrete can be dangerous in terms of falling debris or tripping hazards. As you can imagine, our team is quite experienced in the services we offer and knows how to handle any problem we may encounter in any concrete shelling project.The flaking of concrete that occurs on a concrete driveway or sidewalk usually occurs because the weather changed during the hardening process or something else happened to prevent the concrete from ever hardening.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to use quality materials when constructing a driveway or sidewalk. Additionally, it is important to ensure that there is proper drainage around these structures so that water does not accumulate and cause damage.In conclusion, chipping is a common problem with steel-reinforced concrete structures. It can be caused by freeze-thaw cycles, alkaline silica reaction or exposure to fire. The most common cause is corrosion of embedded steel reinforcing bars or steel sections.

To prevent chipping from occurring it is important to use quality materials when constructing a driveway or sidewalk and ensure proper drainage around these structures so that water does not accumulate and cause damage.

Riley Ryan
Riley Ryan

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