Ever Heard Of Spalling Concrete??
What is that??
Well, Spalling concrete is a common surface maintenance problem especially in older buildings. It is largely due to a natural deterioration process called carbonation.
Ohh… What Happens then?
A bulge will appear on your ceiling and if left not repaired, that part of your ceiling will fall off.
Oh my.. That’s Dangerous isn’t it?
Yeap! Sure is dangerous.
That’s why it is important for house owners to know what to look out for to prevent such an incident. (Though I would say that it is even more important for the authorities to educate house owners on how to properly maintain your house to ensure it remains intact and safe to stay in).
What causes this?
Cracks and bulges in small areas of your ceiling are probably spalling concrete. If these cracked pieces are removed, you might be able to see steel bars embedded in the exposed concrete.
Spalling concrete is largely due to a natural deterioration process called carbonation. This causes the steel bars embedded in the ceiling slab to corrode, causing the concrete cover to crack and bulge.
Therefore, spalling concrete is generally a surface maintenance problem that occur on reinforced concrete structures that do not affect the structural integrity of building.
Ohh.. So is there any preventive measures that I can take to prevent it?
In fact, Yes!
There are a few things you can do as preventive measures when you spot such sightings.
Paint ceiling regularly
The carbonation process which causes spalling concrete can be slowed down or prevented by painting your ceiling regularly. You should therefore paint your ceiling every 3 to 5 years, using a few coats of anti-carbonation or good quality paint.
Seal cracks/holes properly
You should check your ceiling regularly. If there are holes drilled in the ceiling that are no longer in use, they should be sealed immediately to prevent moisture and oxygen entering the concrete. Cracks on the ceiling should likewise be sealed quickly.
Provide sufficient ventilation
A humid environment speeds up the carbonation process. You should keep the level of humidity down in wet areas like the kitchen and toilet/bathroom by opening the vents/windows and doors.
Ohhh okay… So can I repair it on my own?
Yeah! You can do it on your own in fact IF you are skillfull and you have the tools to do it.
Step 2: Clean and paint the corroded steel bars
Scrape and clean the exposed steel bars to remove the rust by using a wire brush.
Apply two coats of anti-rust paint to the steel bars.
Step 3: Patch
Apply a bonding agent to the affected surface before patching to ensure proper adhesion.
Patch up the hacked area using polymer modified cement mortar.
Wow!!! Seems kinda tough. Can I just call in a contractor to do it?