Why does concrete crack? While there are various reasons as to why this occurs, it’s important to understand that when it happens, it needs to be addressed quickly. Cracks typically are a sign of underlying issues, and if left alone can lead to bigger problems down the road.
At UNIQUE Paving Materials, we take into account all of the factors as to why concrete cracks and provide products that are suited for each and every weather condition or season. By utilizing our products, you’ll be saving time, money, and even repeated repairs.
Why Does Concrete Crack? The Reasons and Why It’s Important to Act Fast
When asking why concrete cracks, you’ll soon discover that there isn’t one distinct answer. There are a variety of factors that come into play, and in order to avoid the problem from occurring, you need to be sure that you’re taking the proper precautions and using the correct mixture.
Here are some common reasons why concrete cracks:
- Too much water added to the concrete mix – While adding water may make the concrete easier to install, it greatly affects the strength of the finished material. By adding excess water, the concrete will shrink more, leading to cracks.
- Poor quality concrete – Concrete is available in a variety of strengths, so you want to be sure you’re choosing an appropriate strength for your project. If you don’t select the correct strength, your finished material could be too weak and more susceptible to cracking.
- Lack of expansion and control joints – Control joints are lines intentionally cut into a slab so that you can control where cracks will form. Expansion joints on the other hand are designed to accommodate concrete when it expands and contracts. It provides a space for concrete to move.
Over time, concrete naturally does have a tendency to crack, but said cracks can take different forms. By figuring out the type of crack you’re dealing with, you’ll be able to determine your next steps, and find the ideal solution.
Some common cracks that you may encounter include:
- Shrinkage – This type of crack can occur either before or after hardening of concrete. Shrinkage which includes a loss of material leads to a lot of stress, causing cracks in the concrete.
- Settling – These cracks typically occur when there is structural weakness of the underlying ground. For instance, you may see this if a large tree is removed nearby or when a utility trench has been refilled but not correctly compacted.
- Expansion – When hot weather strikes, concrete expands and pushes against anything in its way. If there isn’t room for the concrete to expand, it causes expansion cracks.
- Heaving – This is another crack type that comes about due to changes in temperature. These cracks develop when concrete is exposed to extremely cold weather. When it’s freezing outside, the freeze/thaw cycle may cause the concrete to lift and heave, which ultimately results in cracks.
- Hairline – While hairline cracks aren’t considered that bad on their own, you’ll want to fix them immediately before they start to widen or get deeper, creating much bigger issues. You’ll typically find these on the surface level only.
- Structural – These cracks need repairing immediately as they can compromise the structure of your material.
Repair What Causes Concrete Cracks by Purchasing UNIQUE Products
At UNIQUE, we are proud to offer repair solutions that solve the most difficult road maintenance problems, such as what causes concrete cracks. To help fix your concrete cracks, we have our UNIQUE® Concrete Pourable Crack Filler, which preserves and protects concrete pavement while sealing out water. With an easy application, you’ll be on your way to fixing concrete cracks in no time.
Designed to fill cracks and joints, our concrete crack filler has benefits that include:
- Requiring very little preparation prior to use
- Free of coal tar
- Available in quart and gallon bottles, pails, and drums
- Excellent cold weather flexibility
- Reduced traffic delays
- Easily adheres to pavement
- Safe to apply
- A six-month shelf life when unopened
- Environmentally friendly
- Can be applied to damp pavement
Additionally, our team takes all of this a step further by providing superior customer service. We strive to deliver products to help you regardless of the weather conditions, local climate, or seasons you’re dealing with. By choosing UNIQUE Paving Materials, you’ll appreciate the following:
- Our highly skilled staff is trained to manage the on-site production of mixes in any location
- We employ some of the best lab technicians in the business
- When creating a new product, we follow strict quality control procedures to ensure your material performs how it should, and will last the test of time
- Our state-of-the-art laboratory has over 50 years of experience in researching, testing, and developing materials
After Discovering Why Concrete Cracks, Contact Us for Your Solution
After reading about why concrete cracks, you’ll now know how to react when dealing with this situation. If you have any questions or are ready to get started on your next project, contact us today!