Denial and delay won’t cure concrete cancer


Ignoring the health of your building isn’t bizarre behaviour, says one of Australia’s leading experts on concrete cancer. In fact it’s totally in line with the way we view our own health and well-being.

“Just like with tell-tale signs in our own bodies, we tend to try to ignore physical problems in apartment blocks and hope they go away,” says Neil Trenwith of Magnatex, the concrete cancer specialists. “But, just like medical conditions, concrete cancers only get worse the longer you leave them.”

Neil was talking to Flat Chat as NSW gets to grips with our new strata laws, specifically those that allow 75 percent of owners to agree to a plan to extend or expand their building and sell the new properties to pay for repairs and upgrades to the existing units.

“Everybody’s focussed on the sell-out, move-out, knock down and rebuild option,” says Neil.  “But there’s another pathway that allows owners to come up with a plan to add to their existing building to finance upgrading the rest.”

For buildings that have concrete cancer but the majority of owners don’t want to move out, he says, this is a solution where the cure isn’t worse than the disease.

Flat Chat co-sponsors Lannock Finance  even puts together loan packages to allow Owners Corps to pay for the planning phase of renewal plans.

Concrete cancer occurs in slabs where the metal reinforcing rods have corroded and the rust expands and ‘blows’ the concrete around it.  The results can vary from unaesthetic to catastrophic, depending on how quickly it is identified and dealt with.

“As humans we are often in denial about our health issues until we can’t ignore them,” says Neil.  “In strata, the law doesn’t allow you to ignore problems but at least you have options and the results need never be fatal.”

You can give your building a health check by contacting Magnatex on (02) 9958 6665  or CLICK HERE.

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