Detecting Corrosion in Steel Encased in Concrete.

Detecting Corrosion in Steel Encased in Concrete.

Change the title to Detecting Corrosion in Concrete Encased Steel. There are to many “in’s” in the title and it does not read well.

Thanks, Scott!


Interesting article ,but I must admit that I am left feeling a little lost.
I was just taught how PH levels of the encasing concrete effect the steel rebar lifespan but have been left with a wondering as to how it can apply to Home Inspection or Commercial Inspection for that matter.

Does this new knowledge apply in any way to Foundations,lintels,retaining walls,etc.?

A extra paragraph or two on how we can use this article to benefit our client would help.

My impression from reading this is to gloss over and forget, by delegating this to Structural Engineer territory.

Would love to see a few good illustrations to keep focus also.:slight_smile:

Bob, (I hope you’re sitting down)…

Good post. I actually ‘got’ what you were trying to say for once. I agree with you 100% !!! :slight_smile:


Rusting metal, be it rebar, lintels, etc. expands as it oxidizes often causing the concrete it is encased causing it to spall or pop off the facing of the concrete. Here are a couple of examples on a beach front I did some years ago. I have also seen some metal lintels that have separated the bricks on either side of the garage door or windows do the same thing and open mortar joints.

Funny ,guy.

Yeah,I think we all see that at times Doug,but how would that relate to concrete with a parge coat over Lintels,or foundations ,where we actually Inspect.?

I often see and have pics somewhere of rebars rusting out through concrete, but just notate and move on.

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The basic problem in Reinforced concrete structures is the corrosion of steel reinforcement. The main cause of this corrosion is intrusion of water inside the RC structures. The corrosion of steel reinforcement can be judged by peculiar cracking of concrete structures.

At last stage of corrosion, the steel reinforcement becomes exposed and the extent of corrosion can be seen as rust.

Corrosion of steel reinforcement usually occurs more in externally located RC members as compared to internally located RC members.

I think you should visit CivilSeek and read this article for more details about reinforced cement concrete Reinforced Cement Concrete | Advantages, Uses, Types, & Purpose.

I was doing a lot of research on concrete when I wrote that and it struck me as one of those things that may not be of direct benefit, but the better you understand the processes that steel, concrete, and water go through together, the greater the chances that you may pick up on something that you might otherwise have missed, or you may be better able to answer a client’s questions on a concrete issue.

When you can display depth of knowledge about a subject that goes beyond that of most inspectors it tends to impress people.

Good information