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Concrete Antagonists: Corrosion

Concrete is one of the most frequently used building materials in America. A part of nearly all buildings in California, whether residential or commercial, even some log cabins built way up in the mountains have concrete foundations. But no matter what you’re building — be it a home, office, sidewalk, or other structure — you want it to last for as long as possible. That’s why protecting your concrete is so important. It increases the longevity of your investment. In this series of articles, we discuss things that lead to concrete failure, as well as how West Coast Epoxy can help you avoid falling prey to these concrete antagonists.

Concrete Corrosion

Corrosion is the most common problem with concrete. Various materials interact with concrete and wear it away gradually. As this natural process continues, concrete breaks up — first microscopically, then in larger chunks. Eventually, the concrete is so deteriorated that it no longer safely performs its intended function.

Now, while there are things like chemicals and acids that corrode your concrete, the most common form of corrosion involves the steel structure inside it. Grids of steel bars, known as rebar, act like a skeleton for many concrete formations, providing reinforcement. Acids, other chemicals, and plain water interact with the iron in the rebar. Over time, these bars decay and break down into iron oxide, commonly called rust. As the steel deteriorates, its size increases or its shape is compromised. Since concrete does not stretch or expand easily, changes in the rebar lead to cracks in the concrete.

Preventing Concrete Corrosion

Concrete is porous, so if it is left to fend for itself against things like liquid spills, gases, or the elements, the rebar inside is eventually exposed. The rusting process begins, cutting short the life of your concrete. Applying a coating from West Coast Epoxy protects your concrete. Since corrosive materials cannot penetrate the epoxy coatings, the rate of corrosion is significantly reduced.

For more information on corrosion sources and how to protect your concrete from them, please call West Coast Epoxy, or schedule a free consultation here on our website. With our help, your concrete won’t be overly antagonized by corrosion!

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