You finally invested the money to lay down a whole new concrete floor in your basement, garage, shop or factory. It’s quite the investment, which is why it needs to be done right the first time. If installed correctly, concrete can be one of the strongest, most durable and long lasting materials you can use. The concrete was poured and cured just a few days ago and you are noticing a crack. In this article we will go over some of the reasons why concrete cracks sometimes immediately after it cures.
Why do Concrete Cracks Occur?
There are many reasons why a newly poured concrete foundation can start to crack shortly after it cures. Not all cracks are problematic as many times when new concrete cures and things settle cracks in foundations and walls are quite common. Learn how to know if the crack in your basement or concrete foundation needs repair.
Excess Water in the Concrete Mix
Concrete does not require much water to achieve maximum strength. Unfortunately, a wide majority of concrete contractors when doing residential add way too much water to the concrete on the job site. The excess water is added to make the concrete faster and easier to install. However, the excess water also dramatically reduces the strength of the concrete.
The most common causes for foundation cracks is concrete shrinkage. Concrete is made with water, cement and aggregate. Therefore, concrete will shrink as it cures and dries, often causing cracks to form. This happens because of the evaporation of excess mixing water. The wetter the concrete mix, the greater the shrinkage will be. Concrete slabs can shrink as much as 1/2 inch per 100 feet. This shrinkage causes forces in the concrete to pull the concrete apart, causing cracks to form.
Rapid Drying of the Concrete
Drying concrete too quickly will significantly increase the potential for cracking. The chemical reaction, which causes concrete to go from the liquid or plastic state to a solid state, requires water. This chemical reaction, or hydration, continues to occur for days and weeks after you pour the concrete.
You can make sure that the necessary water is available for this reaction by curing concrete over the correct period of time. Read more about how concrete should be properly cured to prevent cracks.
Improper Strength Concrete Poured on the Job
Concrete is available in many different strengths. Make sure your concrete contractor knows what strength the concrete they are pouring should be poured at.
Lack of Control Joints
Control joints help concrete crack where you want it to. The joints should be of the depth of the slab and no more than 2-3 times (in feet) of the thickness of the concrete (in inches).
Bad Curing Temperature
Concrete is also affected by temperature. If the curing of the concrete is interrupted by a significant drop in temperature, the final product will be affected. In addition, if your concrete floor is poured in intense heat and sun, it will dry too quickly, which will cause cracking.
How to Repair a Concrete Crack
If any cracks appear shortly after you have had concrete poured it is always good idea to call a concrete floor repair contractor to take a look and help properly assess the issue. Concrete is one of the most largely used materials in the world, but at some point, no matter how it is mixed, it will crack and deteriorate. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Give us a call for your free no obligation quote. We’ll check it out and let you know the best next steps.
At RestoreAll Concrete we prefer to use polyurethane for crack repairs because we feel it is the best material to penetrate the concrete due to its flexibility. Our crack repair is guaranteed for life against leakage. Learn more about how crack injection works.