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Warning Signs Your Home Needs Concrete Repair

As a homeowner, you should be aware of signs that your house might need concrete repair. Neglecting these signs may lead to more extensive repairs later on. This can be costly and compromise your home’s structural integrity. The Foundation Experts Inc. has been repairing damaged or deteriorated concrete the the Ottawa area for over 20 years.

Indicators That You Need Concrete Repair

Let’s look at the warning signs that your home needs concrete repair.

1. Cracks in Concrete

An obvious indicator there might be something wrong is when you see cracks appearing on the concrete surface. Though hairline cracks seem harmless enough, they could point out more serious underlying problems, such as:

  • Settling foundation: When the soil beneath homes’ foundations settles or shifts, it also causes cracking in concrete slabs. This can be a significant issue that needs immediate attention from professionals.
  • Freeze-thaw cycles: Ottawa’s winter temperatures are extremely cold and can fluctuate wildly. That constant back and forth encourages concrete degradation.
  • Heavy loads: If large vehicles frequently park on your driveways, concrete slabs may crack. Most suburban pavement wasn’t designed to accommodate commercial-level weight.
  • Poor installation: Cracks can form prematurely if cement mixing is not done according to specific standards. This factors load weight, mixture proportions, moisture, humidity, temperature and more.

2. Crumbling or Flaking Concrete Repair

When you start noticing particles falling off your wall surface, know something has gone wrong! This damage occurs when environmental conditions become too harsh for concretes to bear or chemicals attack them. Common causes include:

  • Freeze-thaw damage: Water continuously freezes and thaws within concretes, disintegrating into small pieces that crumble or flake off.
  • Chemical exposure: De-icing salts, fertilizers (high in nitrogen), and acid cleaners, can react negatively with concrete. It can cause rapid degradation and become weak enough to let go of its chemical bonds.
  • Rebar corrosion: Steel reinforcement bars or “rebar” inside walls may trigger this problem. Rusting starts pushing apart layers until, eventually, entire sections break loose, revealing rusty surfaces beneath spalled areas.

3. Spalling or Scaling

This is another name used to separate the topmost layer of concrete from the rest of the material below. It thereby exposes aggregate or even deeper to the rebar. It can be caused by:

  • Freeze-thaw cycles: When water infiltrates concrete an expansion occurs when it freezes called delimitation. This is when the outermost skin peels away from inner layers along weak faults created by the freezing action. It’s sometimes called scaling because peeled skins resemble fish scales.
  • Reinforcement corrosion: As rebar corrodes, it exerts pressure on surrounding materials. This leads to spalling. It is the result of insufficient compacting during construction.
  • Chemical attack: Sulphuric acid can eat away at cement paste which holds all the aggregates (stuff) together. This results in a bond loss between the main two components. Hence the visible surface scaling-off effect.

4. Sinking Or Settling Concrete

When soil shifts underneath slabs it settles unevenly, possible causes are:

  • Soil erosion: Running water erodes part of soils that support slabs, causing them to sink unevenly. This can be caused by improper grading where the earth was not shaped well around the house foundation. Allowing rainwater to flow towards rather than away from building structures.
  • Compaction issues: Inadequate compaction methods may leave behind loose particles beneath concrete.
  • Foundation Problems: Settling or shifting a home’s foundation can cause the adjacent concrete surfaces to sink or settle.
6 Signs Your Foundation May Need a Repair Fast

5. Stains Or Discolouration

Although it does not always imply structural damage, stains or discolouration on concrete may indicate moisture or chemical exposure. Some common causes include:

  • Water Infiltration: Water seeping into the concrete can stain it as it carries dirt, minerals, and other contaminants.
  • Efflorescence: Occurs when water-soluble salts move to the surface of the concrete and crystallize, resulting in a white powdery substance.
  • Chemical Exposure: Chemicals such as fertilizers, pool chemicals, and automotive fluids, can stain or discolour concrete surfaces.

6. Moisture Issues

Excessive moisture in cement structures can cause various problems, such as:

  • Mold or Mildew Growth: Mold and mildew thrive in high-humidity environments.
  • Reinforcement Corrosion: Moisture penetrates concrete, rusting steel reinforcements (rebars) and weakening them altogether.
  • Freeze-thaw Damage: When water gets trapped within cement during freezing temperatures, it expands. Then when it warms, it melts, carrying away material.

7. Exposed Reinforcement

Once rebar becomes visible above ground level, deterioration has already occurred significantly. If nothing is done about this situation as soon as possible, rebar corrosion will worsen, eventually leading to structural failure.

8. Upheaval Or Displacement

Concrete surfaces sometimes undergo uprooting/dislocation because external factors like growths from tree roots. This makes walkways uneven, posing risks for tripping accidents.

Timely Concrete Repair Matter

Should any of these warning signs appear within your residence, seek concrete repair expert immediately.  Costs tend to rise exponentially with the degree of intensity of damage. Therefore the longer left to wait the more labour intense the solution will be to fix it.

High-Quality Concrete Repair

Our group comprises skilled professionals specializing in repairing broken concrete we have the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience. We use modern methods and materials so that our refurbishments can withstand the test of time.

The Foundation Experts offer reliable and lasting concrete repair. If you require a quote to repair your concrete call us at (613) 227-2006 or Contact Us.  

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