Whether you notice it in your basement walls, walkway or driveway, a crack in your concrete can mean different things. From a simple surface crack thats nothing more than cosmetic, to a deep crack that can lead to structural problems. In this article, we’ll take a look at when, and what you can do to fix and prevent concrete cracks from worsening or forming in the first place.
These are purely cosmetic and will not effect the structural integrity of the concrete if treated before they potentially worsen. A surface crack can appear from misuse, neglect, or weather.
If you’re noticing thin hairline cracks in your newly poured concrete, this is usually a normal process. As the freshly poured concrete settles and shrinks, the thin cracks should disappear.
A surface crack can be identified as a crack that is thin and shallow. Surface cracks have a width of no more than 1/4 of an inch. Depending on where you live, a surface crack like this could quickly become a problem as the temperature changes throughout the seasons. With the expansion and contraction of the concrete due to the temperature paired with water or ice within the crack can make for a worsening condition for your concrete.
There a several types of cracks that are categorized as large cracks, and should be dealt with sooner than later to prevent any further damage. Cracks that could be put into this category are:
Expansion cracks: When exposed to heat, concrete tends to expand outwards. Lack of space to expand causes slabs to develop cracks.
Heaving Cracks: Heaving cracks develop when concrete is exposed to cold temperatures. The cold causes the concrete to contract, and when the temperature returns to normal, the concrete expands and returns to its original shape. Over time, this leads to cracks.
Settling Cracks: Settling cracks occur when the underlying structure or ground beneath the concrete is weak, or has weakened over time. The soft ground beneath the concrete provides poor support, and allows for the concrete to sag and settle into the space below.
Cracks from overloading: Cracks can occur in concrete when too much pressure and weight is placed upon it. For example, a fully loaded dumpster being used for a home renovation project that is being stored on a driveway could exceed the concrete weight limits and form cracks around where the dumpster sits.
Cracks that are not too far gone are usually easily repaired. 2 days or less is all that required from most contractors when making concrete repairs to cracks. After your concrete has been mended, consider taking steps such as sealing your concrete, and regularly maintaining and inspecting for damage before its too late.
If you are looking for a contractor to install or fix your current driveway, Almand Bros should be your one-stop destination. We are one of the oldest concrete and masonry building companies in New Jersey and have been delivering high-quality construction projects since 1985.
Our services include concrete and masonry installation and repair, custom stonework, basement waterproofing, grading and watershed, and snow removal services. You can call us at (856) 310-1390 to get a free estimate. You can also fill our online contact form to get in touch.