Concrete is used in almost every modern-day construction project because it provides multiple benefits. Although it is known for its high durability; issues like cracking can reduce the strength of concrete structures. If the size and count of cracks are more, it can lead to many issues. For instance, water can enter the building through the cracks, the soil beneath the concrete layer can get destabilised, etc.
The best way to deal with this problem is to facilitate various practices before and during construction. Methods like curing the concrete, adding joints, and more are helpful to avoid cracks before they even appear! Whether you are using onsite mixed concrete or ready-mix concrete, the methods to prevent concrete cracking will be the same.
We have mentioned the common causes of concrete cracking and explained the best ways to prevent them. So, without any further delay, let’s check them out.
Common Causes of Concrete Cracks And Ways To Prevent Them
Common Reasons For Concrete Cracking
High Water Percentage in Material
Some concrete providers add more water to the material than the requirement. They do so to make the concrete easy to pour over the required area. However, when the construction material dries and the water evaporates, cracks are formed in the concrete as it shrinks.
Giving Less Time To Mixture For Drying
After the construction material dries, there is a requirement for repetitive hydration of concrete. In simple words, the spraying up of water and concrete drying should happen multiple times. Sometimes, the construction project workers don’t devote enough time to this process, which results in internal breakage and cracks in concrete.
Using Concrete With Improper Strength
The strength level of the concrete used in construction depends on the respective requirements of a project. If concrete with improper strength is used, it can lead to various issues. For example, if low-strength concrete is used for road construction, it will develop cracks after a short time due to a load of heavy vehicles.
Not Preparing The Subgrade Properly
The soil present under the concrete slab is known as subgrade, which plays an important role in the durability of a structure. However, if the subgrade layer’s level is uneven or it contains unwanted material like debris, the concrete present above it will eventually crack.
Improper Formation of Contraction Joints
Although joints are made to keep the concrete slab integrated as a whole while avoiding cracks. But the joints should be present at the right depth and place for effective results. If the construction workers are inexperienced, they can do improper joint placement, which results in concrete cracking.
Ways To Prevent Cracks in Concrete
Cure The Material Properly
The more time you invest in curing the concrete, the better the results are. Curing refers to giving proper time, temperature, and moisture to the construction material so that it settles in the desired form. To avoid concrete cracking after the construction, it is advised to spray water over the slabs during the first week.
Afterwards, you can reduce the water spraying frequency, but the construction material still takes a few weeks to settle properly. So, it is advised to invest a few weeks more to cure the concrete effectively. Otherwise, if you rush things to save time, you will eventually face the problem of concrete cracking.
Use Water in Sufficient Amounts
One of the effective approaches to prevent concrete cracking is using water in sufficient amounts to mix with the dry construction material. However, if you order ready-mix concrete for your construction project, water will come premixed with the construction material powder.
It is advised to hire a reputable concrete supplier like The Thames Concrete to ensure the water and concrete are present in the right ratio. Consequently, neither the construction material will get internally dried and cracked, nor will it have lumps.
Compact The Base Effectively
Before you pour the concrete over the slab area, it is crucial to compact its supporting base. In the absence of compaction, the base will settle with time, creating a vacant space. As a result, the concrete will start to crack.
To avoid this issue, compaction must be carried out professionally to eliminate the cavities and air bubbles present in the construction material mix. It applies to all the different types of concrete variants, irrespective of the construction project. Hence, by compacting the base effectively, you can get rid of cracks.
Add Steel Wire Reinforcements
It is advised to use steel meshes while a particular section is being constructed. It helps offer more durability to the structure. Although concrete already possesses high strength, using steel wire reinforcements acts as additional support.
Concrete cracks can eventually appear after the completion of the project for various reasons. They compromise the respective structure’s strength. However, by taking care of some key factors at the construction time, you can avoid this issue from happening in the first place. By ensuring the proper water-material ratio, effective compaction, proper concrete curing, etc; you can avoid cracking.
Moreover, it is better to purchase quality construction material because it is free from impurities like debris, and stones; which ensures a uniform consistency while mixing. At The Thames Concrete, we supply various types of concrete with the best quality in the market. Plus, our high-capacity material-carrying trucks make the delivery process quick and hassle-free! Get in touch with our team to book a concrete delivery slot now!