Cracks in concrete. How do you prevent cracks in concrete? No one wants them. Not the homeowner, and not the concrete company responsible for the job. So, why do they happen? Durable, high-strength, crack-resistant concrete does not happen by accident. That’s why when Sensible Concrete, your premier residential home concrete company starts a job, PREVENTION of cracks is where we begin!
Sensible Concrete Works understands every homeowner’s concern regarding cracks showing up in their concrete long after we are gone. That’s why our many years of experience preparing foundations and pouring concrete in the East Tennessee area, our familiarity with the many different kinds of concrete mixes, our local climate, and the types of soil found here, can be of great value to you.
WHY CONCRETE CRACKS
#1 Reason: Too Much Water in the Mix.
To achieve maximum strength, a whole lot of water is not required. Many times concrete contractors add more than necessary water to make the concrete easier to install; it is smoother and easier to work with – for HIS employees. But it does little for you, the homeowner, later.
How does too much water cause damage? Because shrinkage is the main reason for cracking. As concrete dries, it shrinks. The wetter the concrete mix, the greater the shrinkage will be. Concrete slabs can shrink as much as ½ inch per 100 feet. This produces such a force in the concrete that it literally pulls the slab apart: Voilà, a crack. And usually more than one crack.
#2 Reason: Rapid Drying of the Concrete
Rapid drying of the slab will also increase the possibility of cracks. Concrete is less likely to crack if moisture evaporates slowly. The hotter and dryer the weather, it is recommended to spray the slab with water a few times each day for the first week to prevent this rapid drying process.
#3 Reason: The Sub-Grade Must be Properly Prepared
The subgrade, the native soil on which the concrete is built, must be compacted to ensure it stays in its place after the concrete is poured. And, of course, it must be level. To protect it, a sub-base of aggregate material is then laid on top of the compacted soil to prevent soil displacement BEFORE the concrete is poured.
At Sensible Concrete, we take great pride in doing everything right when we pour your residential home’s concrete slabs; whether it be for foundations, a driveway, a garage, a patio, or a sidewalk and pathway. Have any questions? Give us a call! We also give free, on-site quotes!