Concrete Paving projects in Ottawa

Causes of concrete erosion

The best defense against concrete erosion in both residential and commercial paving is proper concrete placement. Choosing a paving contractor in Ottawa who knows what they’re doing is paramount in preventing premature weakening and decreased lifespan of the product. Spalling, cracking, leaking, scaling and other types of concrete erosion can be caused by a number of factors. These are some of the most common:

Freeze-thaw cycles

Concrete is porous and when moist water absorbed by a concrete structure freezes and expands, it produces pressure within that may eventually cause the pores to rupture. If freeze-thaw cycles occur frequently, the concrete may eventually crack, scale or even crumble.

De-icing chemicals
De-icing chemicals can permeate concrete surfaces, and weaken them, thereby aggravating freeze-thaw deterioration. De-icers containing ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate are particularly insidious in both their speed and efficacy in deteriorating concrete.

Corrosion of reinforcing steel
Corrosion of rebar and other metals is the leading cause of concrete erosion. Rusting will increase the volume of metal beneath the surface and therefore create tensile stress that can lead to cracking, spalling and other related defects. Corrosion can occur for a variety of reasons but most commonly is caused by exposure to de-icing salts. The use of dissimilar metals in concrete structures can also lead to rusting.

Concrete structures are designed to support specific types of loads. If during their lifespan they’re used for purposes beyond those for which they were intended, the result might be weakening of the concrete. Earthquakes and other unusual circumstances can also be causes of overloading. But if faulty placement of the concrete occurs during construction (e.g. early removal of the framework, storage of heavy equipment on the surface, improper support of precast members during transport or during placement, etc.), then overload related concrete erosion could likewise occur.

Loss of support
The washing out of soils and other sub-base materials can lead to the weakening of concrete structures. This can transpire for a number of reasons and may even occur during construction, particularly if insufficient formwork support is used.

Can eroded concrete be repaired?
In many cases, it’s possible to patch-up both commercial and residential concrete structures that have eroded. However, the extent and type of damage will determine whether or not repair is possible. If the sub base is eroded or fracturing is significant, replacement is typically recommended. Speaking with a concrete paving contractor will clarify the best and most cost-effective solution to apply to your eroded concrete.

Contact our paving and concrete experts at Bytown Paving for a free estimate on your concrete repair or replacement job. Get a hold of us at our Ottawa location today.

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