Concrete Cancer Repairs

What is Concrete Cancer?

Concrete cancer is often mistaken as general weathering however there is a much larger issue which lies inside the concrete structure. Concrete cancer occurs when the inner reinforcing steel begins to rust and corrode. This rusting steel expands, forcing the surrounding concrete to be displaced and weaken. As the steel pushes away from the concrete, the exposure to water and environmental elements is increased and this significantly speeds up the rate of deterioration.

As time passes, the cracks, water damage and expanding steel will only spread and damage more concrete. This whole process can also be referred to as concrete spalling. There are a few key signs that indicate that your structure is experiencing concrete cancer and that it’s time to contact BUSS for concrete repairs. These include flaking and cracking concrete, rust stains leaking from concrete, buddling or concrete render and leaks from internal walls or roof.

Once concrete cancer or concrete spalling has started, especially on the outside of a building, it can also become dangerous. Over time, the ongoing exposure to weather conditions and other natural elements can cause concrete to fall from the building. Risking not only further damage to the building but also falling concrete on people potentially below.


Did you know that currently concrete repairs are unregulated in WA? How do you know who to trust? Read more...

What causes Concrete Cancer?

There are many reasons as to why a property or asset is experiencing concrete cancer. Some of the most common reasons are:

Poor waterproofing

When waterproofing fails, it can make concrete start to erode and lead to concrete cancer.

Poor quality concrete

 If the concrete product itself is of poor quality, then concrete cancer can become apparent.

Building Defects

If a structure has building defects, such as poor quality installation products, such as supporting steel beams, then it can lead to concrete cancer.


Drastic adverse weather conditions can dramatically impact the health of concrete.

Chloride contamination from salt

Being a coastal city, structures in Perth are consistently exposed to salts in the air and potential ongoing structural damage.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures can be caused by a number of things but left untreated can lead to concrete cancer.

leaking balcony


The type of repairs completed by the BUSS team will depend on the cause of concrete cancer. If the concrete cancer is caused by chloride contamination, then the repair process can become more complex and will more than likely involve highly specialised concrete repair solutions such as cathodic protection.
Cathodic protection describes a method which is used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell. This involves a simple method of connecting the metal which is to be protected to a more easily corroded “sacrificial metal” to act as the anode.

BUSS is qualified and experienced in the proper and professional concrete repair technique that is critical to returning a building or asset to safe operating performance. Some form of structural repairs is required for all concrete structures over time. If evidence of cracking, drummy concrete, rust staining or concrete cancer is present then immediate repair becomes a necessity as further deterioration increases the likelihood of damage. If left un-abated then failure of the structure becomes an increasingly likely result.

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