Considering the extensive durability of concrete, it is one of the favourite masonry materials used in the construction of yellow-painted driveways, patios, sidewalks, and a lot more interesting stuff. However, despite its resilience, concrete is prone to cracks- a major drawback.
In cities like Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Westchester, where temperatures can get pretty low, concrete cracks in buildings, sidewalks, bridges, etc. are highly prevalent. Nonetheless, you can accomplish long-lasting, superior strength and crack-resistant concrete jobs from masonry contractors NYC by steering clear of some of the major pitfalls.
Cracks in Concrete- Know Why?
The primary causes of concrete cracks are listed below:
- Shrinkage in concrete due to temperature fluctuations is one of the prominent reasons. Concrete expands and shrinks quickly with temperature variations.
- Loss of moisture due to rapid drying increases the possibility of cracks. To cure properly for strength retention, concrete requires adequate hydration.
- The improper ratio of water in the concrete mix is often a culprit. Excess moisture in the mix does not increase strength, but rather causes more shrinkage.
- Lack of control joints often causes cracks due to underneath soil movement. Masonry repair contractors always add control joints to reduce crack formation in heavy concrete slabs.
- Pouring concrete over a frozen surface is another crucial point.
- Improper settlement of the base and the corrosion of reinforcement steel are among the other common factors.
Effective Preventive Measures
Concrete can retain its strength and curb appeal for years when installed correctly. Masonry restoration contractors can help you achieve impressive results through their professional expertise and observing the following tips:
- Concrete takes around four weeks to cure completely. Initially, it requires a lot of hydration to attain its absolute strength. Rapid drying causes fast moisture loss and the concrete is more likely to develop cracks. Thus in the initial 7-10 days, spraying water frequently will keep the problem at bay.
- Adding too much water to the concrete mix should always be avoided. A slurry mix will lead to shrinkage as the water evaporates. It will cause cracks and the concrete will be weak and brittle. The water-concrete ratio should be accurate- not too watery, not too crumbly.
- To prevent cracks in large concrete slabs used for sidewalks and your beautiful yellow patio, control joints are the most relevant fix. Temperature changes and soil movements result in cracks due to shrinkage. Therefore, adding control joints by a licensed masonry contractor can save you from the issue.
- A firm and compact base beneath a concrete slab offer additional support and strength. When the base is unstable and settles, the void underneath the slab can result in cracking.
- Use good quality reinforcements that can withstand the effect of corrosion and offer maximum stability and durability to the concrete structure. Also, the reinforcements must be located in the centre to minimize moisture exposure.
To conclude, cracks can be avoided only when you begin to work with concrete. But do not worry, there are many easy fixes to repair concrete cracks.