Common Causes of Concrete Floor Cracks

No matter how well contractors do their job, concrete floors will develop flaws over time. And, even if you’re careful, cracks will still form for some reason.

Since they’re prevalent, what you can do is find the best concrete crack repair solution. It also wouldn’t hurt to know some of the reasons why they happen.

Concrete Shrinkage

Concrete is a mix of water, cement, and aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel). As it dries, moisture evaporates and makes the slab shrink and crack. This occurrence is normal, and it’s no cause for alarm.

Depending on the weather condition, shrinkage cracking usually starts around 12 hours after the finishing process. To handle it, contractors use control joints.

Control joints are designed cuts that go about halfway through the slab’s thickness. They’re meant to cause weakness so that the concrete will crack at the bottom, releasing the stress from the evaporating moisture.

Ground Heaving and Settling

After periods of heavy snow or rainfall, the soil will absorb water, causing it to heave or lift the floor by a few inches. When the ground dries up, the earth will settle again.

Cracks will form if the concrete doesn’t move up and down with the soil’s heaving and settling. To make sure there aren’t underlying issues, call a foundation contractor.

Not all heaving and settling problems require a complete floor replacement. But, this issue is something that a professional contractor can evaluate and determine for you.

Expansion Cracks

Concrete expands as the weather gets hotter, especially during summer. This causes significant stress on the slab, leading to the development of cracks.

Expansion joints can keep the slab from pushing upward. During heaving or settling, they prevent the top layer from binding up against the surface and flaking off.

Premature Drying

When concrete dries too soon, fine surface cracks that resemble spider webs or shattered glass develop on the surface. They form when the top portion of the slab loses moisture too quickly.

While cracks caused by premature concrete drying are unsightly, they’re not a structural problem. These are so fine that there isn’t a way to repair them.

It’s often hard to determine exactly what causes certain cracks to develop. But, adequate site preparation, quality concrete mix, and proper finishing practices go a long way toward reducing their appearance.

When they do appear eventually, call a concrete floor crack repair specialist. They’d know what to do in case of serious structural issues.

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