Before starting your concrete project, it’s important to be aware of some of the terms your contractor will use. One specific term that you’ll likely hear is “joint”. A concrete joint should be seen as a preventative measure. They are used to prevent cracks from occurring by compensating for the contraction and expansion of concrete as it moves with the temperature. This is especially necessary for Louisiana concrete, with our weather as crazy as it is. Concrete can expand and contract as much as ⅔ of an inch.
How Concrete Joints Work
Concrete joints are able to stop random cracks from occurring by planning for the cracks ahead of time in order to create a better final product. Depending on the width or span of the concrete and the materials involved, joints are sometimes used to enhance the material’s performance, allowing it to move without harming other structures.
There are three common types of concrete joints. These include:
1. Concrete Expansion Joints
The purpose of an expansion joint is to isolate concrete and slabs from the other pieces of the structure. These joints are specifically used to permit movement amongst adjoining structural parts, and limit cracking when these movements are restrained. Expansion joints allow for contraction and expansion due to increased temperatures, without stressing the concrete structure.
2. Concrete Contraction (Control) Joints
Concrete contraction joints, or control joints, are used to control the areas in your concrete where cracks typically occur by creating a weak spot. These joints are usually placed in a straight line and arranged to create near-perfect square panels that surpass a length to width ratio of 1 ½ to 1.
3. Construction Joints
Construction joints are created pre- and post-interruption in the positioning of precast concrete or the placement of other concrete. Depending on its structure, the joints might need to operate as contraction or expansion joints later on, and may be placed vertically or horizontally.
Regardless of what type of concrete joints you may need for your project, you can rest assured that our team of professionals at Port Aggregates will see to it that your joints are installed with the utmost precision and care so that your concrete is fit to last in the Louisiana heat. Contact us today to request a quote for your residential or commercial project! Our 26 locations proudly provides precast concrete, ready mix concrete, and more to Lafayette, Lake Charles, Leesville, Jennings, and several other cities in Louisiana.