America is largely built on concrete—after all, it can be found below your foot with almost every step you take. Concrete is known for its strength and longevity, which has made it one of the top building materials of choice for all sorts of projects. However, that doesn’t mean concrete is indestructible. Overtime, a number of different factors and elements can cause concrete to become damaged. While you are waiting for your concrete repair provider in Tampa to show up, read up on the common causes of concrete damage.
Concrete is porous. If water gets in and freezes, it breaks off small flakes from the surface. Over time, this scaling can lead to complete destruction of the concrete. Although freeze-thaw disintegration is not a problem in Tampa, it is one of the leading causes of concrete damage in colder parts of the country.
Dry ShrinkageAs the water in concrete evaporates, the concrete shrinks. Since the slab is on the ground, it drags on the subgrade and the shrinkage is restrained, resulting in cracks. Patten cracks may also develop on the surface of the concrete is the surface dries out before the slab has gained strength. Concrete resurfacing companies will place joints in new slabs to control the drying shrinkage cracks and monitor the moisture level of the slab while it is drying.
Reinforcing Steel CorrosionConcrete is usually formed around steel rebar for added strength and durability. Although concrete is very alkaline (which prevents rusts), chloride ions inside concrete can destroy the “passivating layer” of alkalinity around the steel. As steel rusts, the expansion presses against the concrete putting it in tension and causing it to crack.
Depending on the chemical makeup of the concrete, a reactive aggregate in the concrete may form a gel around the aggregate particle. When this gel becomes wet it expands and can degrade the concrete. Your Tampa concrete repair provider will need to test the concrete to determine if an AAR is to blame.