This last summer saw more rain than we’ve experienced in years.
I’m used to late summer rain showers that disrupt my outdoor activities, but this year was considerably bad for the flash flooding in low lying areas.
My brother lives near a river and his ground floor level faced considerable water damage during the last week of August. With all of this rain, you can only imagine the sort of beating that anything takes if it lives outside. The paint on the exterior of my employer’s offices is starting to chip pretty badly, especially after all of this rain over the past two months. It just throws buckets down on everything in sight. We have a lot of concrete structures and bridges in town and they have to be designed with the expectation of rain in mind. Even though concrete encases the steel rebar used to reinforce it, concrete is a porous substance by nature. It’s important to use corrosion resistant rebar in situations where the structure is constantly exposed to moisture. Galvanized steel rebar has a zinc coating on the outside to protect it from corrosion and rust. So even if moisture manages to get into the concrete and reach the rebar at its core, the rebar won’t rust out and crumble inside the concrete because of that zinc coating on the outside. Stainless steel rebar is used for similar purposes because it too is resistant to corrosion. You wouldn’t want to be cheap with the rebar used in a bridge knowing the devastation that would occur if it ever failed under normal daily stresses.