Cracks in slabs are not too uncommon. If the extent of the damage is not too severe, you can easily repair concrete slabs. If it is a patio or driveway, you can fix the problem with simple DIY methods. However, if the damage to the slab is too extensive or too deep, it will not be worth repairing.
Repairing cracks in concrete makes your driveway look better while also protecting it from the elements, such as rain, snow, dirt, etc. For example, use a cleaner with an anti-grease agent if the concrete in your garage has become coated with oil and other automotive fluids. When professionals do the job, they use an excavator or skid steer with a jackhammer attachment or just a regular jackhammer. Cracked concrete should be replaced if it is due to the following three conditions.
Any patching material used to fill these types of cracks will only be a short-term solution. You definitely don't want to patch these cracks and then spend money on re-coating the concrete or making a decorative coating. So, in summary, we have a very good method to fix cracked concrete in a cost effective way and in most cases, the client does not have to tear out and replace their concrete. We grind and fill the cracks and put in the necessary expansion joints.
Repairing a cracked concrete driveway also improves the curb appeal of your home, especially if you are selling. A cracked driveway looks unsightly to potential buyers. Cracks can usually be filled and repaired if the rest of the driveway is in good condition and was installed correctly in the first place. There are basically three types of everyday cracks.
The first, and most common, is shrinkage cracking. When concrete is placed, it is a liquid. You have to keep it in a liquid state to get it into the desired shape. With the right proportion of water and cement, a flowing liquid can be achieved.
This makes it easier to push it out of a truck or pump to an intended location. When this dirt settles - sometimes due to water from sprinklers or rain passing under the concrete - the concrete is unsupported and will be more susceptible to sinking. Cracks in concrete can range from a non-structural, unsightly crack to being detrimental to the structural integrity and safety of a building. By preparing your client in advance with possible repair options, you can avoid a lot of frustration and headaches.
Plastic shrinkage cracks form due to rapid early drying and a low bleed rate while the concrete is still plastic (not set). Changes in ambient temperature conditions, from moderate daytime temperature to low night-time temperature, can cause rapid cooling of the exposed concrete surface and shrinkage is likely to cause thermal cracks. However, if left untreated, a non-structural crack can facilitate the entry of moisture and other destructive environmental substances that can lead to corrosion of the reinforcement, making the concrete structure unsafe. Crazing is caused by drying out of the concrete surface, especially when the surface has been exposed to low humidity, high air or concrete temperature or hot sun during placement of the concrete mix.
Hairline surface cracks, sometimes called "crazing", are an indication that the surface of the concrete dried too quickly when it was poured. Despite being a potential weak link that can cause serviceability problems, construction joints are in many situations a necessary requirement when there are multiple concrete placements. Cuts should be made at a predetermined distance, depth and pattern to meet structural engineering specifications and only after the concrete has gained sufficient strength, but before internal cracking begins. Cracks that are identified as small and fine (less than 0.3 mm wide) are generally considered acceptable as part of a minor slump, depending on the purpose and intent of the concrete structure, the environment in which it is placed, the design life and the durability design.
Plastic shrinkage cracking occurs when the rate of evaporation from the surface exceeds the rate at which moisture is supplied to it (through bleeding of the concrete). This expansion process can last between 5 and 20 years before cracking eventually leads to failure of the concrete structure. The high pH (alkalinity) of the concrete forms a passive film on the surface of the embedded reinforcing steel bars and acts as a protective shield that prevents or minimises corrosion. Defects in concrete structures are often caused by penetrations through the concrete made for service lines or created by Z-bars used to create form ties or temporary ties in the concrete.
Repair of latent cracks - Latent cracks are stable and are not expected to move in the future or, in other words, are unlikely to open, close or spread further.