The development of cracks is the biggest concern for a resident who has just poured concrete on his patio, walkway, or driveway. These cracks are fissures and fractures in the construction. But why do these cracks occur, is the frequently asked question. The common answer is ‘Concrete Cracks, Cracks are INEVITABLE.’ An Industrial Concrete Company makes sure that its customers never have to face such problems. Getting the work done by a professional team seems the right choice as they are competent enough in the correct preparation and installation process.
Concrete is one of the most cost-effective and durable materials used in construction. If installed correctly, keeping certain ways in mind, it can last for a lifetime. asphalt driveways also help a great deal in the prevention of these cracks. But before we dig into the various ways to prevent concrete cracking, let’s first gather knowledge of what makes it crack in the first place.
What Causes Concrete Cracking?
There can be umpteen reasons for concrete cracking. The most common ones are –
1. Use of the Correct Mix of Water
The slurry that’s prepared for construction needs the correct proportion of water to make it strong enough to hold. If the mix has excess water, it becomes unendurable. Extra water doesn’t smoothen the installation but makes the concrete lose its strength. When extra water evaporates, the concrete shrinks, causing cracks.
2. Less Water, Quicker Drying Process
Using less water can also cause damage as the concrete dries quicker causing cracks. The curing process can take a considerable amount of time. The chemical reaction required for the concrete to turn from liquid to solid requires the right amount of water. Less water shall make the drying process quicker.
3. Poor Subgrade Preparation
The subgrade is the native soil under construction. Before pouring the concrete slurry, the soil underneath must be cleared of all the debris. An uneven base can also cause the concrete to crack.
4. Improper Concrete Strength
Concretes available in the market have all different strengths. Choosing concrete with the correct amount of strength is a must for avoiding cracks later. Hiring an industrial concrete company proves beneficial as they are aware of the concrete with the appropriate strength, required for your structure.
5. Improper Joints
Joints are formed in places where cracks are anticipated. Their placement and depth are crucial for the eruption of cracks. The length and width ratio, the slab thickness, and joint spacing all have to be in perfect proportion. An industrial concrete company helps with the proper placement of joints in the structure, keeping all the necessary proportions in mind.
How Cracks Can be Avoided?
Most cracks can be prevented from forming by creating appropriate material and correctly installing it. There are a few more ways to avoid the cracking of concrete later.
1. Correct Mixture
Water is to be added in the correct proportion with the concrete. Mixing more water than required makes the concrete lose its strength. If the mixture is crumbly, more water must be added, and if the mix is watery, more concrete has to be added. Correct water and concrete ratio is the most crucial factor in avoiding cracks. A concrete driveways company in Melbourne is aware of the correct proportion required for each construction.
2. Regular Spray
It may take the concrete almost a month to settle entirely. The regular spray of water over the concrete is a must, a few times a day, for the first week. This is called ‘Moist Cure’. This would make the slab extraordinarily stronger. Hot and dry days require more regular sprays.
3. Create a Solid Subgrade
Natural soil is relatively clean and compactable. Such soil needs no preparation before spraying the concrete. It may get muddy during construction. Correct depth and elevation of the base are extremely crucial. The base under the concrete needs to be compact, or it may create a void leading to cracks. The preparation of the subgrade makes it easier for the concrete to settle. It’s a piece of cake for an industrial concrete company to identify and create a solid subgrade.
4. Strong Base
Apart from the subgrade, another thing that can make the cracks impossible is constructing a strong base with steel reinforcement. Add wire mesh before spreading the concrete, and VOILA!! A steady and sturdy support for the concrete is ready. This sturdy base shall hold up the concrete for a lifetime. It’s the job of an industrial concrete company to ascertain how strong and enmeshed the steel reinforcement needs to be.
5. Installing Joints
The weak spots in the soil can be cut to form joints to avoid cracks because huge slabs can break due to the natural movement of the earth underneath. The surface needs to be cut deep in order to form joints. If created correctly, they prove to be very beneficial as they cover all the vulnerable areas of the structure. Industrial concrete companies are here to help!!
6. Cover the Concrete
Concrete loves toasty temperatures. During cold months heating blankets are used to keep the concrete warm. This helps in curing the concrete, helping it to be stronger and sturdier, whereas, during summer months, curing compounds are sprayed, creating a protective layer that prevents the moisture from evaporation.
To Wrap Up
High-quality, good concrete is the only requirement for a super strong structure. The above-mentioned points help a lot during any construction. Due consideration makes the cracks disappear permanently from the structure and helps the construction stay unfazed for the longest period known.