Apartment balconies with concrete cancer, in St Lucia, South of Brisbane.

Balconies with concrete cancer. Identified by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

Concrete cancer to balconies

Common causes:

  • Seepage through the concrete to the steel reinforcing causing concrete cancer (spalling).
  • Reinforcing being too close to concrete surface or edges causing it to rust then expand which causes fracturing of the concrete.

Recommended rectification

  • Remove all fractured concrete and rusted reinforcing
  • Treat exposed reinforcing with anti-rust treatment that is suitable for hash conditions
  • Apply a bonding compound to the original concrete slab edge.
  • Secure additional reinforcing for new concrete. It must be correctly secured to the existing slab
  • Refit new concrete.
  • Seal and waterproof any joints (gaps) to avoid seepage and deterioration from recurring

Balconies with concrete cancer (spalling). Important points:

  • Although this would be covered by the Body Corporate, it would still be very costly to the unit owners. Especially if the sinking fund is limited.
  • Unfortunately the greater majority of building inspectors will not inspect the exterior of apartment blocks, even when they are easily accessible.

Limited access by inspectors can prove to be costly, for potential buyers!

Some related information that may be of use

Wikipedia on Concrete degradation/spalling/concrete cancer

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au