A freshly laid slab of concrete is a beautiful sight to behold (especially if it’s been stained and sealed). However, that beauty can quickly come undone if cracks start to show.
“How did this happen?” you cry.
After all, nothing dropped on the concrete. There was no earthquake that took place. The concrete was just sitting there, drying. It was perfect for a moment, and now, it looks like it just went a few rounds with Mike Tyson.
There’s a Number of Reasons Why Concrete Cracks
Though concrete is strong once it hardens, it can be quite sensitive during the curing (drying/settling) process. That’s because there are chemical reactions going on, and the outcome of those reactions depend on a number of factors.
For example, how much water is in the mix.
When concrete dries, it shrinks. That’s because the moisture is leaving it, so there’s less matter there. The more water that’s in the concrete, the more it will shrink since there’s more stuff leaving the concrete as it’s drying.
The more it shrinks, the more likely it is to crack. That’s why concrete looks fine when it’s wet and turns into crack-city when it dries.
Other factors include temperature (never pour on frozen ground), the speed at which it dries, the surface it’s laid on, the strength of the mix, and more.
If You’re Seeing Excessive Cracking, It’s Probably a Bad Job
Cracks from a bad job can take as long as month to appear. Make sure to keep a close eye on freshly poured concrete until then. If you start seeing larger/deeper cracks appear in the middle of the concrete, it’s likely the person who poured it didn’t do a very good job.
However, if you notice a minor crack or two around the edges, it might not be the artisan’s fault.
The truth is…
Concrete Cracks are Fairly Common
Because of the way concrete shifts when it dries and settles, some minor cracking is to be expected. In fact, it’s planned for. That’s why concrete is typically laid in sections with “control joints” in between instead of one giant slab.
This can prevent most cracking and control the rest of it so that it happens in less noticeable locations. In fact, if a properly done job cracks, most people will never even notice. Especially if it has a nice stain to it.
Get the Cracks Out of Your Concrete
You shouldn’t settle for fractured concrete. If you need some cracks repaired on a bad job, our team can get that corrected for you. If you need fresh concrete laid, we’ll keep any cracking to a minimum.
For concrete pouring, concrete fixing, and concrete staining, Apple Valley and beyond, you can trust in the professionals at Artisan Concrete Pro.