What Is Concrete Oxidation?

What Is Concrete Oxidation?

What Is Concrete Oxidation?

Concrete oxidation is a form of corrosion triggered by exposure to oxygen. It occurs when air containing oxygen enters the pores in concrete and reacts with the embedded steel reinforcement, causing it to rust and expand.

This expansion puts pressure on the outer portion of the concrete, often causing cracking and crumbling. The build-up of salt from de-icing agents can also contribute to concrete oxidation.

Preventing damage from oxidation requires proper maintenance, including regular cleaning to remove any persistent dirt, oil or other debris that may be blocking air pathways; use of protective water repellent sealers or coatings; as well as avoiding overloading structures with excessive weight.

What Is Weathering In Concrete?

Weathering in concrete is a natural process that occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to the elements.

It is essentially the breakdown of concrete, which can occur either physically or chemically. Physically, weathering can cause cracking and spalling, while chemically it is caused by reactions between different materials present in cement and the environment.

This reaction directly affects its strength and durability and over time leads to deterioration of the concrete structure.

Weathering also affects its appearance, by discoloring the surface of the concrete or staining it with dirt and grime.

How Do You Remove Oxidation From Concrete?

Oxidation of concrete can be removed by using either an acidic or a basic solution. An acidic solution such as a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, or sulfuric acid and water, can be used to remove rust stains and corrosion from the surface of concrete.

A basic solution such as ammonia or sodium hydroxide (lye) solution will neutralize the acids present on the concrete surface, thus restoring its original appearance.

The solution should be applied to the surface with a brush or cloth, left for a few minutes, and then rinsed off with water.

Furthermore, scrubbing the stained area with steel wool before applying the oxidation-removal solution may also help enhance the desired result.

How Do You Prevent Weathering On Concrete?

To prevent weathering on concrete, it is important to regularly inspect and maintain the surface of the concrete.

Cracks should be filled promptly with appropriate material and sealers can be applied to protect against water penetration and freeze-thaw cycles.

Painting or coating the surface can also help protect against wind, sun, rain, and snow. Additionally, keeping vegetation away from the concrete will reduce pressure points where cracking may occur due to root growth.

Regular cleaning and maintenance practices will also help keep dirt and debris away from the surface which can lead to erosion over time.

How Do You Clean Weathered Concrete?

To clean weathered concrete, begin by hosing the area with a pressure washer to remove any loose debris.

Next, apply a mild detergent or mixture of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and warm water to the surface and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water, then apply a concrete and masonry cleaner/degreaser in accordance with its label directions.

Scrub thoroughly and rinse well before allowing the surface to dry completely. For stained surfaces, apply an appropriate acidic cleaner and follow manufacturer’s application instructions before rinsing well.


Lastly, to seal the concrete against weather damage, apply two coats of concrete sealer per label directions, allowing it to dry between each coat.

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