What Causes Concrete to Crack?

Pouring concrete is more difficult than most people initially believe. If concrete is not installed properly it can easily crack, which means that not only does the entire process need to be repeated but the broken concrete needs to be removed as well. This not only costs time, but can also double the initial cost estimate. So how can this be avoided? Let’s take a closer look at our top three tips for avoiding cracked concrete. 

Material Selection

It is important to remember that not all concrete is the same. Factors like weather, function and weight need to be considered when deciding what type of concrete mix should be used. Often concrete cracks because the wrong mixture was selected. For example, if concrete is being poured to make a driveway that concrete mixture needs to be strong enough to withstand the weight of several vehicles. If the incorrect concrete is used it will likely crack under the weight of regular use. 

Temperature Changes

Concrete is one of the more durable substances out there, but even concrete is subject to the whims of mother nature. If concrete is outdoors in an area that goes through extreme temperature change it is likely that it will crack at some point. Rapid temperature changes affect how the water in concrete expands and contracts. If the temperature changes too rapidly the expansion of water will cause cracks. Obviously no one can control the weather, so the best option here is to mitigate the damage by repairing any cracks as quickly as possible. A small crack in concrete is a simple fix, but if left untreated that small crack can grow into irreparable damage. 

Water

Choosing the correct concrete mix is an important first step, but many concrete workers then make the mistake of adding too much water to the mix. A waterdown concrete mixture changes the molecular makeup of the final product. While watered down concrete will eventually dry, it will be much more prone to damages (like cracks) than if the appropriate amount of water was added. Watering down concrete results in a weaker and less durable final product. 

Concrete is one of the best building materials out there. There is a reason its use is prevalent all around the world. Although it is an easy material to work with, it does require skill and expertise to utilize it correctly. To learn more visit www.razorbackconcrete.com.

Sources:

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