• Stephen Deasy

How do you know if your concrete is unhealthy

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

If your building consists of concrete, it’s imperative to examine that concrete every now and then. Unhealthy concrete can lead to a world of problems, so much so that the building can become unsafe to inhabit. As concrete is a naturally porous material, meaning liquid and air can pass through it, it can be susceptible to water damage if it is not adequately waterproofed. New concrete should be waterproofed, so it’s important to contact waterproofers in Sydney if you are building with concrete. Here’s how to tell if your concrete becomes unhealthy?

There are several symptoms that will occur when concrete is unhealthy, all of which are generally easy to notice. While prevention will always be better than cure, especially when it comes to water damage issues, it is important to keep an eye on your concrete so that you can quickly fix any issue that may occur.


A very common problem in concrete, efflorescence is a white, fuzzy looking stain that occurs on the surface of concrete. It is caused when salts and other water-soluble substances come to the surface of the concrete. While it is not usually unsafe at first, it does create some aesthetic problems. It can, however, lead to more serious problems if it is not fixed quickly.

If you do notice efflorescence, be sure to check for cracks and/or holes and have these filled in if they are present. Or, if the professional recommends it, have the whole concrete area waterproofed with a membrane.


If the concrete is high in moisture, and therefore unhealthy, mould will tend to grow on its surface. This can cause health problems to those coming into close contact with the concrete, so it’s important that this mould is taken care of early.

This is also a sign that the interior of the concrete has some moisture problems, so it should be examined by a professional.

Concrete cancer

Another very common issue when it comes to unhealthy concrete, concrete cancer is when the reinforcements – usually steel – inside the concrete weaken and begin to rust, due to moisture. If these reinforcements become weak, the structure that they hold can become a very dangerous one.

The signs of concrete cancer usually involve spalling and/or cracks. Spalling is when the concrete chips away, a result of the concrete suffering ‘carbonation’. Cracks are quite easy to see and should definitely not be avoided.

As mentioned earlier, prevention is far better than cure, especially in the case of water damage. It’s vital that your concrete surface is waterproofed with a membrane just after it has set,
















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