Selection of the most appropriate building materials from the beginning when preparing to erect a structure is crucial, so let us answer your material technical questions.

Deterioration and flaws in concrete, brickwork and natural building materials

Understanding the deterioration mechanisms of cement, tiles, mortar and natural building materials in new and old structures is of extreme importance in order to determine their remaining service life

Deterioration or failure of these crucial materials may incur significant additional costs in operation and maintenance of a structure, but also compromise aspects such as safety and aesthetics. 

During restoration or visible damage assessment of a structure, it is important to understand the deterioration mechanisms in order to perform correct and cost effective remediation. 

We possess a wide range expertise in all types of materials used in the construction industry.

We can avail many different competencies in an open and informal dialogue with you in order to find the best solution to your problem. This can be a standardised solution as well as a customer-tailored examination according to your needs.

Reasons for deterioration of building materials

Damages, deterioration and reduced remaining service life constitute the sum of many factors.

It may be the incorrect use of:

  • Materials
  • Products or 
  • Work procedures. 
The structure may have been exposed to:
  • Moisture 
  • Salt
  • Fire
  • Chemical compounds or
  • Overload. 
Finally, materials may also suffer from fatigue, and would need to be replaced. 

Thin sections, SEM, chemical analysis and physical testing

The basis to understanding material failure is knowledge of all factors that govern the physical and chemical properties as well as a knowledge of the operating environment or unpredicted events that might occur. In order to get a better overview of these factors we evaluate macroscopic features and anomalies as well as collect samples from your structure. 

If necessary, we will supplement these observations with microstructural analysis of thin sections or more extensively through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as well as chemical analysis and physical testing. 

These examinations form basis in determining a material's remaining service life or suitability for a given purpose. 

Contact us if you need any further help getting your materials examined.