Concrete has a reputation for being durable. But this is a fact that holds true only when construction is done right. Errors in mixing, pouring and curing concrete can lead to premature cracks that can not only rob your house of a beautiful finish, but which can also threaten the structural integrity of your house. This is especially true in cases where the cracks appear in your home's foundation. Here are some of the cracks that you should look out for.
Concrete shrinkage cracks
It is natural for concrete to shrink as it cures. This is a process that happens not only because of the amount of water that the concrete loses as it dries, but also as a result of the chemical processes that take place during the curing process. The only problem is that this shrinking usually happens in a non-uniform way and therefore gives rise to internal stresses that cause cracks to develop.
Shrinkage cracks are easy to spot. They tend to manifest in either vertical or diagonal lines and rarely pose any risks to the structural integrity of your home. They can, however, make your home vulnerable to water leaks. This makes taking preventative measures, such as creating control joints in the concrete slab, worth the time and effort.
Concrete settlement cracks
Before pouring concrete, it is advisable that you properly prepare the site. A must-do preparation step is creating a stable foundation for the concrete through compaction. If this is not done, it can lead to the formation of foundation settlement cracks – which are basically cracks that develops as the concrete shifts, under the weight of the house, as it tries to find a solid footing. These cracks are tend to be continuous and usually feature wider tops. They also tend to grow wider with the passing of time.
Concrete cold pour joints
These joints usually develop in concrete foundations because of poor timing of concrete pour. They develop where there is so much delay in between pours that the lower concrete layers start to dry. This causes an out-of-sync drying process that causes diagonal lines to form on the concrete work.
Concrete cold pour joints rarely pose any risks to the structural integrity of a house. This does not however mean that they are harmless. This is because the joints that form because of the uneven curing sometimes create pathways for water. This can expose your house, and valuables, to water damage.
For more information on cracks, contact a company that specializes in foundation crack repair.Share