When it comes to the long-term quality of your property’s concrete, both from a practical and aesthetic standpoint, perhaps the single largest enemy out there is cracking. Concrete cracks aren’t always a huge issue, depending on their size and severity, but certain significant cracks risk not only tripping hazards and other dangers, but also long-term damage as moisture infiltration and settlement take place before repairs are carried out.
At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC, we’re here to help before this happens. We offer quality residential and commercial concrete repair services, including a full range of lifting and leveling to remedy cracks – and also prevent future cracks from appearing. In this two-part blog series, we’ll begin by going over the reasons why cracks may show up in your concrete, plus some of the ways you can tell whether they’re serious, how to avoid them, and some of the tools or resources we may recommend for this purpose.
Moisture and Shrinkage
There’s an inextricable link between concrete and moisture, including during the mixing and pouring process for your concrete slab. The amount of moisture in your concrete mix will help define several things, including how the concrete cures once it’s poured onto a given surface.
If the concrete is not mixed properly, one of the most common possible results is shrinkage – where the slab loses too much of its volume based on too much water being present in the original mixture. Shrinkage may also take place if the concrete is not properly cared-for, such as if it’s left in extremely hot conditions or exposed to too much moisture infiltration.
Another risk that may take place during slab prep or pouring is improper work on the soil below. Soil might be compacted in the wrong way, or conditioned incorrectly and left with either too much or too little moisture. As a result, soil may settle within a few months or years of the installation, causing your slab to sink in certain areas – and, due to pressure surrounding them, to crack.
Yet another possible installation risk in your concrete is the presence of what’s known as an inclusion. This describes a rigid, overly strong piece of stone that’s mistakenly installed among your softer concrete materials, or makes its way into the slab over time. This leads to uneven tensile stress, which raises the likelihood of random cracks.
Finally, especially in a place like Utah that goes through major drought periods (including one we’re in right now), there are risks of erosion. A drought period followed by rain may cause soil to shrink and loosen up, and eventually erosion and even washouts may take place, threatening the slab and creating cracks.
For more on the causes of concrete cracks and how to deal with them, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services for concrete repair, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting LLC today.