Rateavon Jersey

Why do we use Concrete?

Reinforced concrete has been used in Construction for hundreds of years as it is a locally sourced and durable construction material.

As it can be pre-formed (shuttered) and fabricated into any shape, Designers can create many complex and multi-level structures due to its flexibility. These are either cast “in situ” or pre-cast off site.

The structures rely upon designed steel reinforcement within the concrete frame to create a framework that will carry the designed load. The concrete (when cured) creates a permanent load bearing structure.

Why should we protect the Concrete?

Apart from physical damage (impact or movement) to the concrete; the mainreason for deterioration within the UK and specifically the Channel Islands is corrosion of the reinforcement, the most common cause being carbonation the other chlorides.

Carbonation is a particularly important form of deterioration. It reduces the alkalinity of the concrete which leads to the corrosion of the reinforcing steel. The increased volume of the resulting corroded steel results in internal stresses, spalling and delamination and the ultimate reduction of the load capacity – structural failure.

Surveys under the direction of a Structural Engineer can be carried out to ascertain the condition of a building. Rateavon can test for Carbonation using Phenolphthalein solutions which can identify depth of damage and therefore repair strategies can be compiled

Concrete cover (poor installation) and relatively high levels of carbon dioxide due to lack of suitable coatings have been associated with an increased corrosion risk. Marine environmets such as the Channel Islands are also susceptible due to the sea salts and high humidity environment. Therefore it is essential that building maintenance is carried out to safeguard the longevity of the structures performance.