Evaluating Concrete Cracks

Concrete Cracks

Cracks can appear in both newly poured and aged concrete surfaces due to a variety of causes. Before a repair plan can be put into motion, proper crack diagnosis must take place to identify the underlying reasons for the damage. The following five categories of concrete cracks explain the most common reasons concrete becomes damaged.


Right after concrete is poured, it goes through a curing period. During this time, water evaporates from the concrete mix and the total surface area of the poured concrete shrinks slightly. The shrinking process is both unavoidable and necessary to arrive at a strengthened finished surface, but it puts pressure on the materials, sometimes leading to cracks. In addition, too much water in the mix can result in cracking, since the material must shrink more than intended, increasing the stress. Indented control joints are placed at strategic sections of the surface to avoid random cracking, but incorrect installation can lead to shrinkage-related damage.


All concrete settles over time, but cracks appear when the soil itself is not compacted before pouring. If the material is poured over a refilled utility line or near the backfilled edge of a home’s foundation, the dirt must be compacted in layers to prevent settlement cracks in any concrete poured there in the future.


During winter months, the ground experiences multiple freeze and thaw cycles. The soil layer may lift as it freezes, lowering again with a thaw. This movement can create heaving cracks in concrete. Growing tree roots can have a similar effect, unsettling the material from beneath and creating instability.


When concrete is exposed to extremely hot temperatures, it expands. It may meet resistant force as it butts against another unyielding surface and the pressure can lead to cracking in either material. Expansion damage is usually spotted at the edge of the surface where it meets the second resistant material.


While concrete is one of the sturdiest building materials in existence, it can be overloaded with weight and crack under the pressure, especially if it was recently exposed to moisture or the ground beneath it is soft, wet and vulnerable to sinking. A heavy-duty vehicle or dumpster could crumble and break both the edges and inner surface area of the material.

Working with a team of professionals who understand the reasons for cracks helps ensure the use of appropriate repair techniques for your concrete surface. Contact Lift-Up Concrete for both residential and commercial repair services for all categories of concrete cracks, and for customer-oriented service from start to finish, along with a high-quality, long-lasting product.