5 Types of Common Concrete Cracks to Look Out For

Whatever construction project you aim to have done, whether it be for an indoor or outdoor feature, one of the most common choices in material for durability is concrete. Concrete is one of the most versatile materials that you can select whether it be for a residential or commercial space.

As durable as the material can be, however, it does have its downsides. Being a porous material, concrete can be susceptible to damage from elements like stains or heavy pressure seeping in if not maintained properly. No matter how or where it is installed, one of the most common concrete issues that you will want to look out for are damages from cracks.

What Type of Cracks are There

Cracks are a general type of damage that can be found with different types of materials when it is not properly maintained or sustained heavy damage. Generally, there are common repair methods for this common type of damage. With concrete, however, there are different types of cracks you will want to look out for and they are as follows:

Plastic Shrinkage

There is a stage of concrete installation, where, before it hardens, is full of water. Once the concrete cures and the water is gone, it leaves behind large voids between the solid particles. Because of this, it can leave the concrete vulnerable and lead to what is called “plastic shrinkage cracking”.

This type of crack can happen on any part of the concrete but they are most often found in the reentrant corner or around circular objects in the slab. It is also generally narrow and is further worsened by hot weather. Plus, since concrete cannot shrink around a corner, stress will cause the concrete to crack from the point of that corner.

Expansion

Heat is one of the more common stressors for different materials and with concrete, it can result in the concrete expanding. When this happens it pushes up against other items, and if those items are not flexible, the force will result in cracks forming.

To avoid this, it is advised to make use of expansion joints. Typically made of a compressible material like asphalt, rubber, or lumber, expansion joints must act as shock absorbers to relieve the stress that expansion puts on concrete and prevent cracking.

Heaving

More than heat, low temperatures and cold conditions are also common causes of cracks on concrete. A heaving concrete crack is developed when the ground freezes, and as a result of expansion, lifts several inches up, then sinks back down after thawing. If there is no room for the concrete to be flexible, this type of crack is inevitable. Another reason for this kind of crack would be overgrown roots. If a tree is located too close to a slab, the growing roots can lift and crack the concrete surface.

Settling

While having a concrete heave and crack can be bad, it is just as bad when the ground ends up settling and sinking. This kind of cracking generally occurs from natural causes like decaying tree routes or the trenches being dug. In many cases, the sinking causes uneven concrete which can end up with possible damage to the base. If the damage shows itself too extensive, the concrete may end up needing a replacement.

Overloading and Premature Drying

Even concrete can have its limits and end up damage when placing too much weight on it. Overloading the concrete with too much weight can end up with impact to the ground beneath the slab, leading to sinking and shifting that causes cracks. Aside from this, its own nature can also be a problem, especially in terms of drying.

When moisture is lost too quickly on the material, it results in crazing cracks which are surface cracks that resemble spider webs or shattered glass. If you have decided on a stamped concrete, you will want to look out for crusting cracks. These occur when the concrete dries too fast after stamping can also develop. In comparison to other types, these cracks are mostly aesthetic types of damages.

How Gympie ConcretersCan Help With Your Concrete

Just as there are common crack types for concrete, there are also common solutions. Such solutions include epoxy injections, sealing, stitching the cracks, and drilling and plugging. While knowing what cracks and repairs to note can help, it may not be a long term solution. To ensure a quality finish with long-lasting durability, you will want to consult with a professional service group. By choosing to consult with Gympie Concreters, you are guaranteed cost-effective services with experienced specialists for any concreting need.

Conclusion

Concrete may be durable but it is not impervious and one of the most common damages you will want to look out for with this material are damages from cracks. With concrete, there are a number of different common cracks caused by different factors. These types include plastic shrinkage, heaving, settling, and more. Different crack types can mean different things and knowing how to identify them can help lead to long-lasting solutions and better maintenance.

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