When correctly installed, concrete can be one of the strongest, sturdiest products available to decorate your home. However, in order for it to last, there are critical steps that need to be taken to prevent it from cracking. Pouring concrete may seem like an easy DIY task, but here are four common causes of cracking that occur when pouring it without a professional.
1. Improper concrete strength
Concrete comes in various different strengths. If you pour the wrong strength of concrete for your project, premature cracking may occur. By hiring a professional ready mix concrete contractor like Port Aggregates, you can rest assured that we’re pouring the proper strength to suit your needs.
2. Too much water in the mix
Concrete can reach its maximum strength without much water, and most people make the mistake of adding too much water to their mix. Excess water can severely hinder your concrete’s strength, causing it to crack easily.
One of the main causes of cracking is concrete shrinkage. As it dries and hardens, it will shrink–this is inevitable and happens once the extra water evaporates. The more water you have in your mix, the greater the shrinkage will be, and it will cause the concrete to pull the slab apart and crack.
3. Improper placement of control joints or lack thereof
The purpose of control joints is to help guide the inevitable cracks that will occur in your concrete. These joints should be placed at the depth of the slab at a distance of 2-3 times, in feet, of the concrete’s thickness in inches. For example, a 4-inch concrete slab should have joints that are placed 8 to 12 feet apart.
4. Inadequate curing
As your concrete cures, it will need water for the chemical reaction that changes it from a gooey mixture to a strong solid. If your slab dries too quickly, it will increase your concrete’s risk of cracking.
Pouring concrete on your own can end in a very expensive, messy disaster. Save your time and money by hiring a professional to do the job right the first time. At Port Aggregates, our concrete professionals are fully experienced and trained to offer you the highest quality and longest-lasting concrete on the market. Contact us today to request a quote!