6 Types of Concrete Cracks and What They Mean
Like all other construction materials, concrete tends to expand and contract whenever it detects a change in moisture or temperature. This is why you need to make provisions to make room for this expansion and contraction. Nevertheless, if this space is not sufficient, you may notice the formation of cracks in later stages for sure which is also going to affect the overall strength, integrity, and the structure.
Cracks that appear during the early stages are ideally not very critical. They are not going to affect the structural integrity or the life of your structure. However, the same cannot be said about the cracks which show up in the later stages.
Thawing and freezing cycles can also significantly impact your concrete, which may lead to aggressive deterioration of your concrete structure.
Our team from Big D Ready Mix Concrete will help you explore all the various types of concrete cracks that you need to be on the lookout for in this blog.
Six common types of concrete cracks
Numerous different factors can cause concrete to crack; nevertheless, they are ideally caused as a result of poor construction or design, for example:
- Improper finishing
- Improper compaction of earth
- Inappropriate or inadequate curing of concrete
- Too much water in concrete
- Improper joining and subgrade preparation practices
Now let’s talk about the most common types of cracks that you may notice.
Concrete tends to expand when there is a change in temperature, which can further lead to your concrete pushing away anything in its way. If both the surfaces cannot flex, the force might be enough to cause the surface to crack. Joints made using rubber, asphalt, or lumber will act as shock absorbers, helping the concrete relieve stress that this expansion can place on the structure.
This form of cracking often occurs due to a high evaporation rate, which can cause your concrete structure to dry before it has set. Even though these cracks are unsightly, they rarely ever impact the durability or strength of the concrete pavement and floors.
Heaving is often caused by frozen ground, which will lift your concrete by several inches before settling and thawing. The thawing and freezing cycle is a critical factor in contributing to form cracks. You need to ensure that your slab is free to move with the earth, or else it is likely to develop cracks.
Ground settling below the concrete slab can cause it to crack. This often happens when there is a void created between the ground and the concrete surface.
The main reason behind hairline cracks in a concrete structure is plastic shrinkage. The constant variation in the structure’s temperature, air temperature, wind velocity, and relative humidity can end up causing high rates of evaporation.
Rapid depletion of moisture from a fresh concrete slab in its plastic state may cause hairline cracks to develop.
There are chances that you may notice a few cracks as a result of swollen soil, overloading, poor soil bearing, or poor construction. Most structural damages ideally require carbon fiber strips to help damaged areas.
How can you repair these cracks?
The initial step in repairing a concrete crack is to clear out any loose, unstable, or chipped concrete from the area. You may often require a hammer and a chisel that allows you to clear away any pieces. You may also have to widen the crack in a few areas.
After the section is prepared, clear away all loose debris. A water hose or a pressure washer should be used to properly clean the entire area, making the area clean and help form a good contact between the repair material and the concrete.
You may also have to use a finishing trowel in a few cases. It is used to apply pressure to fill any voids left unchecked. It will also help you push into the void and smooth the surface of the repair area.
The finishing trowel can give you a neat edge along the side of the repair as well. Then you can use a brush to blend and smooth the patch material into the existing surface.
The significance of reinforcing
Though it is not possible even for a few professionals to prevent any cracks in concrete, they still can be significantly minimized if you properly take all the precautions. Putting in reinforcements is a critical step if you wish to ensure that your concrete structure remains intact, along with:
- Sufficient sub-grade which has to be made for slab on grade
- Proper design
- Proper finishing and placement
- Providing proper contraction and isolation joints
A common but vital issue you need to keep an eye on
Cracks tend to occur a lot on concrete structures when the stresses in the concrete exceed its overall strength. Damages are often caused by shrinkage of the structure when it is drying or hardening.
We suggest you get all cracks fixed at an early stage to help protect your structure’s integrity and longevity. The reason behind these repairs is to add more durability, reduce its permeability, and help you ensure the integrity of the design.
A local professional from Big D Ready Mix Concrete can help you with your concrete needs and wants. Get in touch with a professional today!
Contact Big D Ready Mix Concrete
Here, at Big D Ready Mix Concrete, we have a team of professionals who are always eager to help you with all your concrete-related needs and queries.
Our company has been serving the Dallas area since 2002. Want to get in touch? Give our team a call at 972-737-7976 or click here to fill our online form. Our trained concrete experts can help you get the perfect ready-mix concrete for all your commercial or residential projects.
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Big D Ready Mix Concrete has been serving clients in the Dallas, TX area since 2002, with over 400 utility mixes, high-strength wall mixes, exposed aggregate mixes, flexural strength mixes, stamp concrete mixes, flowable fill mixes, grout mixes, and trailer pump mixes.