Concrete is an incredibly durable surface, but any good contractor knows that even the highest-quality concrete will eventually need repairs. This is particularly true in areas of Orlando where it is exposed to saltwater. Concrete repair frequently becomes necessary when the saltwater causes the concrete to corrode. As a contractor, you need to be aware of how to make repairs when this occurs and prevent it in the first place.
Understanding Saltwater Corrosion
Saltwater contains hydrogen carbonate ions, sulfate ions, and magnesium chloride, each of which will attack the concrete to some extent. The true damage, however, occurs to the steel used to support and frame the concrete. All concrete is alkaline, and that protects against corrosion somewhat, but the saltwater’s sulfate and chloride ions weaken the protective process. After the water manages to soak into the concrete, it will head to the steel, causing rust. In most cases, the saltwater corrosion of the steel begins at an area of the cement with a crack, as this makes it easier for the water to reach the steel and provides the oxygen needed for rusting to occur.
The issue with saltwater corrosion of a client’s concrete is that corroded steel will expand, leading to new cracks forming along the concrete’s surface. That will expose more areas of the steel to the water, causing a cyclic process.
The good news is that instead of waiting for concrete repair to become necessary, you as an Orlando contractor can take steps to prevent this saltwater corrosion. There are certain types of epoxy coatings available from Select Surface Solutions that can add an extra barrier between the saltwater and cement to prevent the harmful chemicals from getting to the steel within the concrete.
Replacing Affected Areas
If damage to the concrete has already occurred, then you will need to repair it by removing the damaged portions of the cement. Then you can scrub the corroded steel and fill in the gaps using fresh concrete, such as Deep Level. Finally, add an epoxy coating to prevent the issue from repeating and let your clients enjoy the results of their Orlando concrete repair.