All concrete slabs are subject to cracking. Even the best laid concrete will crack over time because of the way it sinks and settles on the ground. Concrete leveling can help correct these cracks and prevent them from becoming severe, but you still need to expect cracking to happen no matter what. In this article, we will look over some of the common causes of concrete cracks and what you can do to avoid them.
During the winter, your concrete will freeze and thaw repeatedly with shifts in weather. The ground underneath the concrete will also freeze and thaw, changing the foundation that the concrete sits on. If you live in an area with particularly moist soil, the chances of this happening are even greater. Over the course of several seasons, the concrete will eventually give out under the constant changes.
You can use sand on your concrete to minimize this freezing process, but make sure you don’t use salt. This will actually increase your chances of cracking because salt accelerates the freezing and thawing cycle.
When concrete is exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time, it will expand and move because of the heat. When the sun goes away at night, the concrete contracts to its original size. This is much like the way the wood in your home expands and contracts. We may not see a lot of extreme heat in the summer here in Michigan, but there are still days when the temperatures reach 90 degrees or more. This is enough to cause the concrete to crack.
Sealing your concrete can help it to maintain its temperature throughout the day, which will help you avoid cracking. Invest in quality concrete sealer when you have your concrete installed, and your slab will last a lot longer.
Most concrete slabs are laid out with control joints, which are basically pre-planned cracks. These are areas where the concrete is made thinner than it is in other parts of the slab, which means that it is more susceptible to expansion and contraction. Keep an eye on your control joints for signs of cracking because those should be the first areas to show problems.
If you notice cracks in your control joints, consider investing in concrete leveling to correct the issues before they get out of hand.