In the past, concrete has been considered to be a maintenance-free construction material, which presented a major advantage over steel. However, many concrete structures have deteriorated to the point where they require substantial repairs to remain serviceable through their design life.
This thesis aims to identify key issues relating to concrete deterioration in South East Queensland. The most common defect is corrosion of the steel reinforcement due to the effects of carbonation and chloride ion ingress. Failure to comply with current good practice leads to ongoing problems. Factors include inadequate attention to detailing, placement, compaction and curing methods.
The existing literature was examined for information about new findings with respect to materials and methods of repair. Concrete repair contractors and material suppliers were contacted in order to gather material on current industry practices. Improvements and recommendations for future research into this field will be provided. The extent of deterioration problems in coastal areas was investigated through a survey of buildings in the Gold Coast.
The industry surveys were used to attain data on the financial cost. The total cost of concrete repairs in the Brisbane and Gold Coast area was estimated at $16 million each year. The establishment of the economic impact will highlight the problem and raise awareness of the whole-life cost of a structure.
This research shall provide an overview of current practice, which will form the basis for future proposed research by the University of Queensland. New data on the cost and extent of durability problems in Queensland will provide a context for future studies.