Concrete cracks. Even if a crew pours out the concrete extremely carefully, there’s no way to guarantee that it won’t crack eventually. It helps to be in a region with a mild climate, but you’ll still find broken slabs even in the warmest, flattest cities due to other external factors. Although cracks are common, there are ways to avoid them. These are the most common crack diagnoses along with crack prevention tips to help you stop cracks from forming and start addressing the repair of existing ones. Once you better understand why cracks form, you should be able to work out a plan that minimizes your chance of cracks in the future.
The Problem: Shoddy Construction
There are many ways to cause concrete to crack during the construction process. There’s an art to pouring wet concrete and if you get it wrong, you risk unsightly flaws and hairline fractures. Using concrete that has too much water is a typical crack-creating technique. When the water dries up, the solid parts of the concrete mixture aren’t tightly packed enough to fill the slab and small cracks appear.
The best way to prevent a crack from occurring during construction is to hire a reputable contractor at the get-go. Our crew will do everything in their power to prevent cracks during the curing and drying processes. If you get a crack, large or small, we can use a product called crackset mortar to fill it. This quick drying crack filler is extremely hard. It’s used on bridges and roads to minimize the risk of cracks re-appearing in the substrate so it’s sure to last on your driveway or patio.
The Problem: Slab Expansion
Another reason that concrete cracks is expansion. In hot weather a concrete slab expands as it gets hotter. This can cause great stress on the slab. As it expands, it pushes against any object in its path, such as walls or adjacent slabs. If neither has the ability to flex, the resulting force will cause something to crack.
An expansion joint is a point of separation between two pieces of concrete. Its entire depth is filled with some type of compressible material such as tar, cellulose, foam or lumber. Whatever the compressible material, it acts as a shock absorber that can “give” when met with expansion force. This relieves stress on the concrete and prevents cracking. If you have a large concrete area that needs expansion joints, we can make it happen.
The Problem: Overload
Concrete may be able to withstand considerable weight but if you put enough weight on a slab, it’ll crack. Although it is very strong, concrete still has load limits. Residential concrete is rarely crushed by weight, however. What is more common is that the excessive weight is too much for the ground underneath the concrete. This is especially true when the ground is soft and spongy. Homeowners who place large recreational vehicles or dumpsters on their driveways may experience overload cracking.
There’s really no groundbreaking solution for this one… no pun intended. The trick it to avoid putting large dumpsters and RVs on your concrete surfaces, particularly during times of heavy