What are two of the most common cause of cracks in concrete slabs?

There are two common types of cracks caused by premature drying. This happens when moisture comes out of the concrete after the slab has hardened.

What are two of the most common cause of cracks in concrete slabs?

There are two common types of cracks caused by premature drying. This happens when moisture comes out of the concrete after the slab has hardened. The main cause is concrete that is too wet, which is known as “high slump mix”. The best solution is to use less water in the concrete mix.

Concrete suppliers sometimes add water to make it easier to work with concrete, but this weakens concrete. Cracks in concrete are frequent and develop when stresses in concrete exceed its strength. Cracks are often caused by normal shrinkage of concrete as it hardens and dries. Concrete cracks can range from being non-structural and unsightly to being detrimental to the structural integrity and safety of a building.

Concrete is highly alkaline and therefore protects steel reinforcement, ensuring that reinforced concrete is an extraordinarily durable material. Basically, a cold joint is where a section of concrete has been poured and then, once it has hardened, they pour another section of concrete next to it. Certain concrete cracks can be better repaired by targeted injection of suitable material adapted to the individual crack diagnosis, followed by a suitable concrete protective coating. The volume reduction in concrete that occurs mainly due to moisture loss after the concrete has hardened is known as drying shrinkage.

When you hear that a concrete mix has a strength of 2000, 3000, 4000 or more than 5000 PSI, it refers to the pounds per square inch that would be needed to crush that concrete slab. During the initial setting of the concrete, plastic settling cracks form while the concrete remains plastic. But a large majority of concrete used in residential work has too much water added to concrete on the job site. If a structural contractor drives a piece of heavy equipment loaded with wood on a 4-inch thick concrete slab, he can break the green concrete (not fully cured).

The pressure causes the concrete to form cracks near the steel which, over time, will lead to more extensive cracking as rust builds up until the concrete begins to peel off the reinforcing steel bars (concrete detachment) and exposes the corroded reinforcing steel bars. Before the concrete hardens (in the plastic state), it is filled with water, which takes up a lot of space and increases the size of the concrete slab. Since concrete cannot shrink in a corner, the tension will cause the concrete to crack from the point of that corner. Crust cracks usually occur during the concrete stamping process, which is a way to add texture or pattern to concrete surfaces.

If these sublayers are not tightly compacted, then when concrete is poured onto them, the heavy weight of the concrete will cause these areas to fall out a little, and then cracks may occur. They can be troweled into the concrete or thin strips of plastic can be embedded in the fresh concrete to weaken it. If the concrete cover protecting the reinforcing steel is damaged and the joint between the concrete and the steel reinforcing bar is broken, the passive layer of the steel will break and active corrosion of the steel will begin. Excessive temperature difference within a concrete structure or its immediate environment causes the coldest part of the concrete to shrink more than the hottest part.

Brock Cottew
Brock Cottew

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