When Should You Repair Cracks in Concrete?

Cracks in slabs are not uncommon - learn how to repair them with this comprehensive guide! Find out what type of crack you have & how to fix it.

When Should You Repair Cracks in Concrete?

Cracks in slabs are not uncommon, and if 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 don't want to patch these cracks and then spend money on re-coating the concrete or making a decorative coating; and if the rest of the driveway is in good condition and was installed correctly in the first place. 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. There are basically three types of everyday cracks: shrinkage cracking; plastic shrinkage cracking; and hairline surface cracks (sometimes called 'crazing'). Shrinkage cracking occurs when concrete is placed in a liquid state and then settles due to water from sprinklers or rain passing under the concrete. Plastic shrinkage cracking forms due to rapid early drying and a low bleed rate while the concrete is still plastic (not set).

Hairline surface cracks are an indication that the surface of the concrete dried too quickly when it was poured. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.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.

Riley Ryan
Riley Ryan

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