Concrete blocks can be an essential building component if used and prepared correctly. However, there are instances in which you may find your concrete block crumbling, what can cause this to happen? Is it natural? Or are there other circumstances at play?
In this blog, we will address the question ‘Why are my concrete blocks crumbling?’
Monthly construction output had risen an estimated 1.6% value in June 2023, and we would like to think our accessible concrete products had a small part to play by giving our clients easy access to reliable and easy-to-use construction solutions.
Why use concrete if it can crumble?
Almost any building material has the potential to degrade or break, but this does not stop it from being useful, this is true of concrete. Concrete is a naturally dense product, as a result, it provides a reliable level of durability. Its density also contributes to a heavier weight overall.
This heavyweight can be critical for many structures, including temporary ones. The weight ensures that natural elements will struggle to affect the structure where concrete blocks are used. This becomes even more difficult when the concrete is bound together using reliable methods.
Are there any indestructible structures?
Every structure that has been constructed is subject to the effects of time. Preservation of structures is only achievable if it is done diligently and consistently, otherwise, a structure can slowly wear away, whether this be in terms of its aesthetic or its foundations.
Weather and natural disasters can affect any building, regardless of the material it is constructed from. There are no indestructible structures.
Why are my concrete blocks crumbling?
Unbeknownst to most, the crumbling of concrete is a natural process which tends to happen over an extended period to concrete that has been placed out in the elements. However, this can happen earlier than expected. There are multiple reasons as to why your concrete may begin crumbling, including…
- Incorrect ratios of ingredients in the preparation process.
- Using the concrete block before it has completely dried.
- Repeated high-velocity impact.
- Constant exposure to the elements, specifically rain.
The length of time it takes for concrete to crumble under these instances can vary. However, the first three reasons are likely to become evident much more quickly than the effects of rain exposure.
For the most part, concrete can last an average of 50-100 years depending on the preparation, placement and environmental factors. Of the four reasons we highlighted, the first three can result in a reduced lifespan for your concrete.
How can you prevent concrete crumbling?
For the four reasons we highlighted, there are helpful ways to mitigate the concrete from crumbling, they are…
- Use the correct ratios relative to the size of your concrete block. Using an established concrete block provider such as PPC Concrete Products is a viable option.
- Ensure concrete is fully dry before usage. This can be sped up by keeping the concrete away from wet environments before it is dry.
- Do not place the concrete in an area where it is likely to receive multiple high-velocity impacts. (Unless it was designed to be placed there purposefully).
- Use a penetrating concrete sealer. This creates a waterproof barrier along the applied surface and slightly beneath your concrete block. This will prevent water from affecting it.
Is a penetrative concrete sealer better than a concrete surface sealer?
Absolutely. Penetrative concrete sealer goes beneath the surface of the concrete it is applied to, this provides a deeper level of protection, literally. This also means that if an instance occurs where the concrete is damaged, there is a chance it still has protection against water in the newly exposed area.
On the other hand, a concrete surface sealer achieves the same effects, but only on a surface level. It cannot go beneath the surface of the concrete. Although the penetrative concrete sealer is the best all-around option, a surface sealer is more than suitable for concrete installations that are less likely to be damaged physically.
Should I use Interlocking concrete blocks?
Yes. Interlocking Concrete Blocks are a reliable and durable form of pre-cast concrete blocks. Featuring a unique interlocking feature, which provides not only a heavyweight reinforced structure but also the ability to create a secure connection without binding elements such as cement.
This makes it a perfect, relatively quick and simple-to-install alternative to traditional brick/block structures. The durable heavyweight nature of these concrete blocks enables them to stand the test of time and stand the collective weight of the land it is holding behind it. Once interlocked, this potential only increases.
There are many advantages of Interlocking Concrete Blocks, one of which is their multiple methods of application, they can be used for a variety of projects.
Uses of Interlocking Concrete Blocks
Here is a list of some of the uses that Interlocking Concrete Blocks can facilitate.
- Material Storage bays
- Blast walls
- Salt stores
- Crash protection
- Push walls
- Security barriers
- Segregation bays, i.e. recycling centres
- Retaining walls
- Industrial buildings
- Fire breaks
How high can you stack Interlocking Concrete Blocks?
When it comes to height, Our standard-sized blocks are 60 cm in height, with 5 stacked together this would equate to 300 cm, which is exactly 9 feet (2.74 m) & 10.11 inches (ca. 26 cm) high. This means that a flat-top concrete block can be placed at a maximum of 9 feet (2.74 m) high.
Can I repair concrete blocks that have been crumbled?
Yes. There are methods available that can enable you to repair concrete that has cracked or crumbled. Will this enable to the concrete to have the same level of strength it originally had? Probably not, but repairing it is better than leaving it to get worse.
If you choose not to repair a concrete block, you will find that the damage spreads over time. This can result in extensive damage throughout the structure, though this is entirely dependent on the original damage that took place.
There are many products available designed to fill cracks in concrete, as well as repair areas that have crumbled away. Most of these products can provide a finish that makes the concrete still seem pristine, though it depends on the applicator.
Either way, doing this will extend the lifespan of the concrete structure in place. So it is a good idea to inspect your concrete structure for any repairable damages.
Purchase Interlocking Concrete Blocks today
In this blog, we hope to have provided key information for the question ‘Why are my concrete blocks crumbling?’ Whilst also providing additional information, including construction solutions that we offer.
Take a read of our case studies to truly understand how we have provided solutions for business in the past with the use of our Interlocking Concrete Blocks, and ultimately, how we can help you today.
Read our blog page for more insights into our passion, construction.
The Old Gasworks,
Monday to Friday – 8 AM until 4 PM
Tel: 01706 655245