Why does concrete crack?
Written: October 02, 2019
When we see a crack or imperfection in a custom concrete slab or sidewalk we often think that it is poorly done construction, however this is not always the case.
Concrete is among one of the strongest, most durable construction materials available on the market, but even when poured correctly it is still prone to damage caused by a number of elements.
Too much water
The strength of concrete depends on the amount of water that is poured into the mix - the more water that is added, the less durable the concrete is going to be. It can be easy for some to over pour, especially for residential projects. The water makes the concrete easier to pour, however, it can also lead to excess shrinkage.
Shrinkage and cracking occurs when the water from the mix evaporates and concrete begins to harden. The more water, the more evaporation there will be, ultimately leading to cracking. Contractors should be aware of the proper ratio needed for each project.
Rapid, premature drying is another culprit of concrete cracking. There are two common kinds of cracks that happen, crazing and crusting. Crazing cracks are fine surface cracks that resemble shattered glass and occur when the surface of the concrete dries too quickly. Crusting cracks happens when the top layer of concrete dries quicker than the layers underneath. This is commonly caused during the stamping process.
Lack of control joints
Control joints are planned cracks that allow contractors to be active in deciding where concrete cracking may occur. When placed strategically, there is less of a chance that cracking will occur randomly. Instead, they should happen in straight lines along the control joints.
Different projects require varying strengths of concrete. For example, warehouse floors that will have to withstand the weight of forklifts and heavy machinery will require a more durable pour while flooring in homes and offices might not require that type of strength. It is important for contractors to analyze and verify which strength is appropriate for each project before they pour.
Professional concrete crack repairs
Not all custom concrete cracks result in immediate danger. However, there are a few signs that you should contact a professional to help repair your concrete to prevent any future foundational issues: the crack is continually getting bigger and has now surpassed hairline size, the concrete has begun to sink in, water exposure is making the cracks worse, you are selling your home or business soon.
Attempting a DIY fix may be tempting, but it can be costly in the future. Most individuals don’t have the proper knowledge or training to properly fix their concrete issues, leading to worsening issues and multiple repairs.
If you are experiencing any of the following concrete issues, contact Custom Concrete Creations today - an industry leader throughout the Midwest. Whether it’s a warehouse, shop or office floor, we will provide you with the experience and expertise needed to get the project done. For questions or inquiries, visit our website or give us a call!