Ready-mix concrete is a strong, durable material. However, over time, the mix may crack and leave unsightly, potentially dangerous cracks in the pavement. Here is some insight into why this happens and why you should fix it right away.
A Guide to Cracks in Concrete
Why Does Concrete Crack?
Changing temperatures cause ready-mix concrete to contract in the cold and expand in the heat. Areas that are against a building are the most likely places to crack, as they can’t contract and expand freely.
Incorrect installation, such as laying concrete in high heat, can cause thermal shrinkage where the pavement dries too quickly, making tiny cracks form. Not installing proper subgrade to support the material can also increase the likelihood of reduction or restraining, which can cause cracking when the surface isn’t even.
Placing heavy loads on the material may put too much strain on the pavement and break it. Similarly, areas that are reinforced with rebar may crack if the metal begins to corrode and expand, forcing the pavement outward.
Why Is This Damage Dangerous?
Ready-mix concrete is no longer stable once it has cracks larger than 1/8 inch thick because it’s more susceptible to settling and movement. It’s essential to fix concrete foundations immediately to prevent the whole house from becoming unstable. Minor cracks can worsen quickly, so consider sealing concrete with minuscule fissures to prevent them from growing.
Cracked concrete is more likely to incur moisture damage, as water can seep in from underneath. Exposed pavement may crack faster after the initial damage, as precipitation wears away at the current fissures and worsens the issue. This is dangerous for drivers, cyclists, and even walkers.
How Can I Prevent Cracking?
Hire an experienced ready-mix concrete company that will properly mix the material to remove air bubbles. Be sure to cure the pavement for at least seven days with periodic moisture exposure to provide the hardest, most durable surface. Additionally, always seal concrete joints to prevent water from wearing away at the seam and causing crack damage.
Reinforce concrete that will hold heavy loads—like in a warehouse—with rebar to give it structural support. You can also add shatter-resistant fiber to improve the pavement freeze-thaw resistance and minimize impact issues.
If you need high-quality ready-mix concrete, contact Weeks Sand & Concrete in Moore County, NC, to learn about their wide range of concrete options. The locally owned and operated company has been in business since 1984 and offers concrete and sand delivery. Call the Cameron-area company at (919) 499-4272 or visit their website for information on their high-quality products like mortar sand.
About the Business