Have you ever looked at a porch, sidewalk, or concrete walkway and admired its beauty but was suddenly turned off by those unsightly cracks? Concrete cracks are a normal occurrence, but it can affect the look of a concrete surface or wall if left unchecked or might even lead to costly repairs in the long run.
In fact, there are several reasons why this is happening, but the most common reason for cracks in the concrete is called drying shrinkage. This occurs when the concrete hardens and begins to shrink. Usually, concrete shrinks around 1/8 inch in twenty feet and its internal tensile stresses, and that can lead to cracks.
However, you need to understand that the key to a beautiful concrete surface or wall is proper preparation since scaling, cracking, crazing, and pitting in concrete are very common, and this usually happens due to the changes in temperature, moisture variations and changes in the soil. But there are several things you can do to prevent this from happening more often.
Here are some tips to consider so you’ll have a crack-free concrete on your property.
Avoid gaps and voids in your concrete
According to a recent study, it has been discovered that there has been an increase in ant activity in several suburbs in Australia, particularly in Perth. These little buggers are usually the culprit when it comes to voids under pavers and other concrete surfaces since this can lead to cracking due to contraction and expansion.
Although ants are not the only reason for voids or gaps in concrete since there might be a buried building material like paper, timer, or unseen root system that can eventually affect the stability of the concrete and can also lead to voids and unwanted cracking.
That is why proper consolidation is essential in achieving low levels of cracking, which means careful preparation should be taken before pouring concrete on the ground. You need to ensure that the soil is cured, and there is no buried material underneath it before concreting the surface.
Reinforced and use expansion filler
All concrete should be reinforced after a few years of its existence. In fact, reinforcing can help strengthen concrete and can even minimise unsightly cracks opening wider. It is recommended that you also use reo bars on corners for added strength. Another thing you can do is add expansion filler, which can be used anywhere on the concrete, especially on parts where cracks are visible. Expansion fillers can also be used in between walls and along external piers or anywhere with corners.
It’s also possible to minimise cracking by placing control joints at regular intervals on a concrete surface to create a weak point, so cracks can only happen in that area. By using a saw cutting tool, a concreter can cut the weak point, which is no larger than 3 meters or possibly less.
Usually, control joints should be placed on corners and plumbing outlets, so you need to ensure that all your plumbing is well below sand level with 100mm of sand cover and must be compacted and made solid.
To get more tips about concrete and concreting projects, we urge you to visit our website at Mornington Peninsula Concreters for more details.