One of the biggest hesitations people have when it comes to choosing concrete for their projects is that it cracks over time.
While this practical, durable material is one of the strongest goods on the market, the forces of time and nature will eventually cause it to crack–especially if it’s been installed by a non-reputable company.
But why does concrete crack, and is there anything that will prevent this from happening?
These 5 mistakes are some of the most common causes of concrete cracks.
1. The concrete dried too fast
Faster is not always better. If your concrete mix doesn’t have enough water in it, it will dry too quickly and crack prematurely. Depending on the project, it should take at least a few weeks, maybe even a month, to dry completely.
2. Your contractor put too much water in the mix
Poorly mixed concrete can create a range of problems. Just like having too little water in the mix can cause it to crack, so can having too much water. Water must combine with the concrete at just the right pace so that it can cure and set properly.
3. Control joints weren’t used
Your concrete must be able to properly expand and contract in different temperatures, otherwise it’ll crack. Control joints are made specifically to help your concrete move about without breaking.
If your contractor doesn’t use these joints, there won’t be extra room for the slab to adjust its size with the changing temperatures, and it will end up cracking due to its internalized pressure.
4. It was too cold when your concrete was poured
Just like the amount of water affects concrete’s hydration process, so does cold weather. When the temperature drops too low, concrete won’t be able to cure correctly. In these situations, the pour will either need to be postponed, or the subsurface will need to be warmed before pouring.
5. Your concrete is too thin
Concrete that’s too thin is extremely susceptible to cracking. The proper thickness of your concrete will vary based on its purpose. For example, a driveway that’s meant to support vehicles needs to be thicker than a sidewalk that is not.
Improper concrete thickness is one of the top reasons why DIY concrete projects fail. When taking on a massive project like this on your own, it’s easy to miscalculate the weight your concrete will be expected to bear and the subsequent thickness necessary. Unfortunately, this will result in severe premature cracking.
At Port Aggregates, our contractors have 40 years’ worth of experience built into their pours. Our beautiful concrete has been trusted for decades with good reason. When you hire our professionals, you can say goodbye to premature cracking and rest assured that your slab has been installed properly. Contact us today to request a quote!