Cracks on your structure can give you worries and make you start to wonder whether you received a shoddy job.
Concrete is known to be a long-lasting product when installed the right way by following all guidelines that comply with concrete placement.
Reasons Why Concrete Cracks
Below are some of the known reasons why concrete cracks and how to avoid them.
Surplus of water in the mix
When concrete gets excess water during mixing, it tends to lose its maximum strength.
The adding of too much water to the concrete is normally done during mixing at the construction site to make the placement easier.
The main cause of concrete cracking is shrinkage.
This is because when the concrete hardens and dries up, the excess water evaporates causing the shrinkage.
It is estimated that concrete can shrink half an inch for every 100 Feet. The process exerts pressure on the concrete and pulls the slab apart.
Engage a reputable contractor who will ensure all the guidelines of concrete mixing are followed.
Quick-Drying of the Concrete
Quick-drying of the concrete is a possible reason for cracking.
After concrete placement, there’s a chemical reaction that takes place. This reaction is responsible for transforming concrete from a liquid state to a solid.
Hydration will take place for a few weeks starting from the day of concrete placement.
For this process to go smoothly, make sure the curing process is well attended.
Follow the curing procedure from the day the concrete is placed and continue for 28 days.
Concrete as a material for construction is available in different strengths.
When improper concrete strengths are poured at the construction site, the chances of cracks on the structure is high.
Verify what strength should be poured.
Poor or lack of Control Joints
Control joints are included during construction to give room for cracks.
Therefore, 4″ concrete should precisely have joints 8-12′ apart.
Types of Concrete Cracks
When you come across cracks in concrete, don’t be quick to rule on them, not all cracks are concerning.
Below is an overview of types of cracks and how to respond to them
This type of crack at the surface needs to be overhauled when they begin widening because they are hazardous.
They can be wider and run through the whole slab. They should be rebuilt as soon as possible.
They occur during concrete curing. You can prevent them by including joint placement during construction.
They occur as a result of improper compacting of the ground beneath the slab which causes part of the concrete to shrink.
Cracks are a problem on the structure be it small or big, no crack width can be ignored.
Some of the factors to consider in crack width are as follows.
Find out if the crack width is becoming wider every day?
Is the crack width wide enough to produce a tripping hazard?
Does the crack allow moisture seepage?
Once the above factors are confirmed, be aware any repairs done will be visible. You can decide to cover it with an overlay.
Ways You Can Prevent Cracked Concrete
Always make sure to start with a sound subgrade that is compacted nicely
Modify the mixture and use low water to cement ratio.
Install control joints and be specific on where they will be placed
Cure the concrete properly and give it time.
Up to You
Concrete cracks don’t happen by accident. They appear to inform you there’s a problem somewhere.
Work with your contractor and you will have a well-done job.