How to avoid cracked concrete
A common question that is asked of concrete suppliers is how to avoid newly laid concrete from cracking. Homeowners who lay concrete themselves are left wondering if they did a bad job or the quality of their concrete was not up to the job.
When installed properly, concrete is one of the most durable products that you can use around your home. But it is important that concrete contractors follow established guidelines with respect to the placement of concrete. A professional job provides an extremely tough strength and crack-resistant substance but this does not happen by accident.
So, why does concrete crack?
Reason 1 – Too much water in the mix
Concrete doesn’t need a huge amount of water to benefit from extreme strength. However, a great deal of concrete used in residential work is found to contain too much water in it. Too much water in the mix does make concrete easier to install but it will also significantly lessen the strength of concrete.
Depreciation is a major reason why concrete cracks. As the concrete dries and goes hard, it gets smaller because of the excess water evaporating. The wetter the concrete mix, the more it will shrink. Concrete may shrink as much as 1/2 inch per 100 feet. This shrinkage causes the strength of the concrete slab to literally pull apart and cracks are the end result of these forces.
The bottom line is that the lower the water to cement ratio is, the stronger the concrete will be and there will be less shrinkage too.
Reason 2 – Rapid Drying Concrete
If drying occurs too quickly, this greatly increases the chance of cracking. Part of the chemical reaction required for concrete to become a solid surface requires water. The reaction is known as hydration and can last for days and weeks after you pour the concrete. You can ensure that the necessary water available for reaction with the adequate curing slab.
Reason 3- Not the right concrete strength is used on the job
Concrete is available in a variety of different strengths. It’s important to know and verify what strength you need. Speaking with ready mix supplier will help. For Concrete Cheltenham, visit a site like https://www.monstermixconcrete.co.uk/
Other tips for avoiding cracked concrete:
Never pour concrete in frozen ground.
The land where the concrete will be placed should be compacted.
Understand what your contractor does and ask about each of the items listed above and you’ll get a good concrete work that you can feel confident about.