What Causes Concrete To Crack?

By March 4, 2019 Driveway Care No Comments

A freshly poured concrete slab can be a beautiful sight to see. When cracks begin to mar the smooth surface, the aesthetic value may take a big plunge. In addition, excessive cracks can make the pavement unstable and hazardous. Knowing the causes behind cement cracks may help you avoid them the next time you have your slab redone.

Temperature Fluctuations and Concrete

Most concrete surfaces are laid outside, which leaves them vulnerable to weather influences. Conditions of high heat and humidity can cause the material to expand. Cracks form when the surface has nowhere else to go. On the opposite end of the spectrum, cool, dry air can cause what’s called plastic shrinkage. The contraction of the cement results in breakage.

You may have cracked concrete if the weather was below freezing when the pavement was originally poured. For optimum results, you should avoid having concrete installed in cold weather conditions.

Installation Errors while Laying Concrete

Pouring concrete is a science; there are various conditions that may cause the surface to break if not handled properly. There are three stages in the process where mistakes may occur:

  • Prepping
  • Mixing
  • Drying
    • Because it’s impossible to control expansion and contraction from weather and air conditions, cracking may be inevitable. To prevent the fractures from appearing in random, unappealing places, your cement expert should install control joints prior to pouring the pavement. This encourages the concrete to split in inconspicuous locations.

      Excess moisture or improper temperatures during the mixing phase can lead to an unstable end product. Additionally, if the surface is dried too quickly, cracks may form as a result.

      Improper installation can doom your pavement before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy it. Our team at All County Construction is well-trained to avoid mistakes like these during your installation process.

      Weight Burdens on Pavement

      Not all concrete is designed to support all weight limits. There’s a difference between a sidewalk intended for pedestrians, bicycles, and strollers versus a parking lot that must support several vehicles at once. Overloading the surface can lead to excess pressure, causing the pavement to crack.

      Adjustments can be made during the preparation of the cement to strengthen its load capacity. Make sure your installation team is well aware of your weight requirements before the job begins.

      Let All County Construction assist you in your upcoming cement project. Our professional team gets the job done right the first time and accounts for all aspects specific to your personal needs. Request your free estimate to begin your concrete job as soon as possible.