How to prevent concrete surfaces in your home from cracking?
One of the most common issues that homeowners who have installed concrete have to deal with is cracking. The fact is that newly laid concrete normally cracks and there’s no absolute guarantee against this.
Nevertheless, while cracks cannot be entirely prevented, you can certainly take careful measures to minimize cracking. Below are some common causes of cracks that you must consider and the necessary preventive actions that should be taken.
The excess water content in the concrete mix
Adding too much water to the mix makes the installation a lot easier, but it’s also likely to greatly weaken the concrete. The excess water content in the mix can also cause drying shrinkage, which can result in cracks. Therefore, it’s best to use the lowest required amount that will allow workability with the cement to ensure that the consistency of the mix is never overly wet.
Rapidly drying concrete
The drying process involves a chemical reaction that turns concrete from liquid to solid, and it happens over days and weeks after pouring the concrete. However, if the drying process occurs too quickly, cracks can appear on the surface. Adequate curing is a must to ensure there’s enough water for proper hydration to allow the concrete to achieve its maximum strength. Not to mention, it will also delay drying shrinkage until the concrete has gained resistance to shrinkage.
Concrete comes at different strengths, and cracks can occur when you use the wrong strength for your project. The only solution here is to consult with your concrete tools supplier to ensure that you choose the strength that’s appropriate for your specific use.
Another factor that can lead to cement cracks includes fluctuations in temperature. In a driveway, for instance, the sudden changes in temperature could make the interior concrete expand with heat while the surface cools off and contracts. Such temperature differences, when they become significant, resulting in cement cracks. A tarmac sealer can work wonders to prevent cracking from temperature fluctuations.
For all of these reasons, the best preventive action for homeowners is to make sure that the concrete installation is carried out appropriately. It’s also a great idea to educate yourselves about the facts of cement cracking, so you would know if a crack should be a cause for concern.