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All photos courtesy Kryton International Inc.
Feature A Modern Look at Improving
By Kevin Yuers, B.A.
W hile many concrete structures have a design
life of 50 to 100 years, not all live up to
expectations. Much of the concrete
infrastructure currently in service across North
America is badly in need of repair or replacement,
and this premature deterioration is a large hidden
cost to owners.
Concrete on its own is not waterproof. Normal
concrete is ﬁlled with interconnected capillary
pores allowing it to ‘breathe,’ but also permitting
water to pass. Even high-performance concrete
remains porous to a signiﬁcant degree and may
32 March 2014
also be prone to cracking. Cracks are practically
unavoidable in a concrete structure of any complexity.
Once they form, they provide a direct path for
water and contaminants to enter. Concrete structures
also contain construction joints and penetrations
for plumbing and electrical conduits. Cracks, joints,
and penetrations are all areas where water can ﬁnd
its way into and through the concrete—especially
when a head of water causes hydrostatic pressure to
be exerted. As a result, if the structure is in a moist
environment, especially close to saltwater, deterioration
can occur much sooner than expected.
Co nstruction Canada
2/11/2014 4:49 PM