Concrete is incredibly sturdy, and it is among the building materials with the greatest longevity. If concrete gets used the right way and in the right environment, it should be able to endure for plenty of years before experiencing big problems. Eventually, though, concrete is going to crack, but what causes cracks to form? There are a few different causes for concrete cracks, and we want to take the time to go over them with you.
Plastic shrinkage concrete cracks take place whenever fresh concrete loses large amounts of water from its surface. This happens before the concrete has had enough time to set, and it results in the top of the slab drying sooner than the bottom of the slab, which causes them to be pulled apart.
Since dryness is the source of the problem, keeping the concrete moist is the solution. You can do this by covering the concrete with burlap or plastic. This is more critical for you to do if you’re working in intense weather conditions, like high winds or heat.
You can also mist your concrete with some water throughout the day. Make sure you do this for the starting three days of the curing process.
Concrete cracks from settlement happen whenever the ground beneath the concrete slab is moving. Perhaps soil wasn’t compacted properly, or there are growing tree roots.
If soil hasn’t been compacted the right way, remove the soil and have it replaced with some crushed stones before you place the concrete. If water appears to be draining along the sidewalk, you’ll first want to backfill using a few inches’ worth of gravel.
Don’t plant trees near sidewalks because otherwise, roots could try to grow beneath the sidewalk, which could result in concrete cracks.
If concrete is going to be placed properly and work as it should, the mixture needs sufficient water. When too much water evaporates during curing, shrinkage can take place.
Whenever shrinkage is either blocked or impeded, the concrete slab will start developing tensile stresses. These stresses will pressure the weak areas of your slab and cause concrete cracks to develop.
To keep concrete cracks under control, control joints are good to have. Put them in between your concrete slabs in order to control where the cracks will take place. This allows you to create straighter concrete cracks instead of jagged ones, allowing you to get a structure that’s more aesthetically pleasing in the end.
Concrete Visions Will Get The Job Done Right
Concrete Visions has been working with clients for over 25 years. Our G&M Services installers are certified with the industry’s major firestop product manufacturers. As part of our firestop service, we can assess abnormal field conditions and, with the manufacturer’s technical support assistance, provide engineering judgments in a timely fashion to comply with contract specifications. Our Field Mechanics undergo ongoing training, including mandatory monthly safety meetings, weekly Toolbox Talks where safety and equipment information is shred, and trainings on safe work standards and safety best practices.