Concrete is a stable building material that has been used all over the world for centuries. While composition and application methods have changed over time, the basic stability has stood the test of time. But while it’s a strong, durable, long-lasting building material, it can still fail. But better than fixing your broken and cracked concrete is preventing failure in the first place. To do that, you need to understand how to keep your concrete from failing.
So let’s look at the different types of failure.
Plastic Shrinkage Cracking occurs when freshly poured concrete in its plastic state has rapid moisture loss. The rapid moisture loss can be caused by a combination of temperature, humidity, and wind speed. In this case, moisture on the surface evaporates faster than the water in the mix can replace it, which leads to small cracks in the surface that are made into larger cracks over time.
Drying Shrinkage Cracking happens in a hardened state and occurs due to a loss of moisture during the drying process, which causes the concrete to shrink.
Thermal Stress Cracking is the result of temperature variations due to weather exposure. Thermal expansion and contraction creates cracks as the concrete effectively moves. This movement can cause much bigger problems for your slab over time, so it’s best to make sure it is installed properly and allows for expansion and contraction without immediately cracking. It’s also a good idea to protect from outside threats.
To prevent these problems from happening to your freshly poured floor, always be sure to use proper construction techniques to safeguard against these common issues. Once your concrete is cured and free of cracks, consider a decorative option that not only looks great, but protects as well.