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Concrete Failure: Causes And Mitigation

Concrete is a popular choice for paving construction. It is strong, durable, and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials such as steel or masonry. However, concrete can also fail if not properly installed or maintained to combat environmental conditions.

Causes of Concrete Failure

Surface Solutions will look at the causes leading to substantial loss. We’ll also discuss ways to mitigate these problems and ensure that your paving construction project is successful!

1. Carbonation

A common cause of concrete failure is carbonation. It occurs when the concrete combines with carbon dioxide, which reacts with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to form calcium carbonate. This process can weaken the concrete and lead to cracking or spalling. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to use a good-quality sealer on your concrete paving project. It will protect the pavement from carbonation contributing factors like moisture and oxygen.

2. Chloride Contamination

Another cause of concrete failure is chloride contamination. Chlorides are present in many materials used in construction, including salt, seawater, deicing chemicals, and some types of aggregate. When these chlorides come into contact with concrete, they can corrode the reinforcing steel bars or rebar. It can cause the pavement to crack and crumble. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to use chloride-resistant materials in your concrete paving project.

3. Fly Ash

Fly ash is another material that can cause concrete failure. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal combustion, and it can be present in both ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete. When fly ash gets wet, it expands and can damage the concrete. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to use fly ash that has been treated to resist moisture expansion.

4. Additives

Additives for setting are another potential cause of concrete failure. These additives are used to speed up the hardening process of concrete, but they can also make the concrete more susceptible to cracking. It’s essential to use the right amount of setting additives and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid it.

5. Rebar Corrosion

Rebar corrosion is another common cause of concrete failure. Rebar is made of steel, and when it erodes, it can cause the concrete around it to crack and crumble. It’s essential to use corrosion-resistant rebar or coat the rebar with a protective material to prevent this from happening.

6. Design Failure

Design failure is another possible cause of concrete failure. It happens when the design of the substantial paving project is not strong enough to support the weight of the traffic that will be using it. It’s essential to work with a qualified engineer who can help you create a design that will be strong enough to support the traffic you expect.

Ending Note

So, there you have it! Concrete can be an excellent material for your paving construction project, but it’s important to consider the potential causes of failure and how to mitigate them. If you’re in the Ocean City area and would like more information or a free estimate, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Surface Solutions.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!