As Tropical Storm Harvey descended upon General Chipping’s hometown of Houston, Texas, the natural disaster doused the city with record amounts of rainfall. With few places for so much moisture to go, and bayous which filled quickly, many areas experienced unprecedented flooding. How does floodwater affect infrastructure, foundations and other concrete? As with most things, it depends. General Chipping rounded up explanations from expert sources to help companies and individuals alike assess potential damage and better prepare for the road ahead.
Floodwaters erode roadways and foundations
•In a USA Today article documenting Harvey’s destruction, the news agency discusses “scouring,” a process by which moving water eats away at concrete in its path. Scouring can lead to holes in roadways, foundation damage and, in extreme cases, complete collapses. Placing bridges out of harm’s way by incorporating pilings can help protect against such concerns.
A soaked concrete slab can wreak havoc on flooring and framing.
•The Louisiana State University Ag Center notes that concrete’s absorbent nature allows it to pass moisture along to nearby materials, increasing the potential for floor failure or damage to wooden framing. The agency suggests monitoring slab wetness with help from a pinless moisture sensor.
Wet concrete can lead to bacteria, mold and other growth.
•Polygon reports that concrete’s porous nature makes it a convenient home for dust, pollen and similar materials. Combine that with moisture and elevated temperatures, and you have a breeding ground for a wide range of microbials. Not only that, but you also have an increased likelihood that the concrete will weaken in strength and integrity. The organization notes that set concrete should not be allowed to remain wet for more than 24 hours.
Flood events themselves can lead to devastating losses of life and property. With the additional concerns of infrastructure issues, assessing damage following a natural disaster can be overwhelming. Rest assured you have support from General Chipping. If you are in search of a concrete repair, clean-up or similar services, feel free to contact us. We will gladly put you in touch with industry colleagues we know and trust.