Frequently Asked Questions

We recently completed repairs of concrete damage on our building so why has the problem shown up again?

Assuming the repairs were installed correctly, they probably did not include provisions for stopping the underlying problem of corrosion and could have even inadvertently accelerated corrosion.

What is the difference between repair and rehabilitation?

Repair techniques are used to restore the structural integrity and shape of a concrete element. For example, a balcony slab can be repaired so that it does not have any damaged concrete or unsafe indentations. Repair techniques generally include removal of damaged concrete and placement of new concrete in its place. Repair methods, however, do little to address the cause of deterioration. Therefore, in the case of reinforcing steel corrosion, simple repairs typically fail prematurely since nothing is done to mitigate or stop the primary deterioration mechanism. Rehabilitation methods, in addition to restoring structural integrity and shape, mitigate or stop the process responsible for the damage. Because rehabilitation includes addressing the cause of the problem itself, the repairs last significantly longer.

Is it ever cheaper to replace a balcony rather than repair and install a corrosion protection system?

Yes, when damage on a balcony exceeds a certain threshold, complete replacement is more cost effective than repair and installation of a corrosion-protection system.

Should we conduct the same repair on all of our balconies?

If the amount and/or predominant cause of damage is significantly different in one section or on one side of the building versus another, different repair and corrosion mitigation systems may be used on the same structure to control the overall cost.

What types of corrosion protection systems are presently available for balconies and parking garages?

There are numerous types of corrosion protection measures that can be used. These include cathodic protection systems, electrochemical chloride extraction, corrosion inhibiting chemicals, sealers, membranes, overlays, specialty concretes, reinforcement coatings, and others.

Do different corrosion problems require different rehabilitation strategies?

Yes, just as different cancers require different treatments, different corrosion problems require different corrosion protection solutions. For example:

  • A cathodic protection system would be needed to stop corrosion if a balcony slab contained admixed chloride ions and exhibited a high level of concrete damage.
  • An element with insufficient concrete cover over the steel and carbonation of the concrete may require increasing the cover by placement of an overlay and/or coating of the reinforcement.
  • If damage is limited to cracking and corrosion of steel is occurring in cracked areas only, simple sealing of the cracks may be the best solution.

Just because our condominium is located on the ocean front, are we bound to have a corrosion problem?

Unfortunately, most reinforced concrete buildings situated on the ocean front are likely to suffer corrosion induced damage at some point in time.

Do we have to immediately repair the damage or can we wait some time prior to starting construction?

More often than not, depending on the severity of the damage, repairs can be delayed or phased over several years.

Do hollow sounding tiles mean that I have deteriorated concrete under my tiles?

Not necessarily. Hollow sounds under tile can also be caused by voids in the grout used to place the tile.

About CONCORR | Consulting Services | Condo Rehabilitation | Research & Testing
Training, Conferences, Seminars | Clients | Staff | Contact Us | Home