What’s beneath your concrete slab?

When your concrete slab also functions as a roof for a basement room, just one small crack should never be ignored. Especially if the slab is not protected from the elements.

This patio space in Northern Kentucky was uncovered. One lone crack in the concrete above was the only visible sign of the issues underneath:
 

 

This kind of spalling occurs when moisture causes rusting and corrosion of the steel within the concrete. It can be at best a crumbling hazard or an annoyance for anyone underneath it, and at worst can cause collapse. This property owner was anxious to get this taken care of as soon as possible. The first step, of course, is always to have a licensed structural engineer out to evaluate the situation.

The owner hired Hughes Construction to install the designs created by their structural engineer; this included a new support beam as well as two new adjustable steel columns. We also chipped away and removed the spalling concrete and rusted steel, adding a coat of epoxy to the rebar to protect it.  Finally, we patched the concrete with a fast-setting concrete product.

A good way to help prevent spalling is to re-seal your concrete every 5 years or so depending on use. This will help keep moisture from getting in and prevent the rusting of your steel. This also happened in a part of the basement where nobody ever went. We recommend that you periodically inspect areas like this in your home to stay ahead of any issues. 

Do you have any cracks in a structural slab like this one? Please feel free to contact us for guidance.