The Five W's (Why, Where, When, What and Who)
Why does concrete crack?
All concrete has a tendency to crack. They appear in foundation walls, basement floors, driveways, walkways and structural beams. It is very common for concrete to have cracks due to one or a combination of factors, all of which involve some form of restraint. Some examples include:
- Applied Stresses – Forces such as back fill around foundation compacted improperly, earth compacting as it settles, hydrostatic pressure against foundation due to high water table and poor drainage against the foundation wall, or heavy equipment operated too close to the foundation wall.
- Drying shrinkage – This occurs when water in the concrete mix evaporates.
- Thermal Contraction/Expansion – Due to temperature changes.
- Subgrade Settlement (or Expansion) – Resulting from change in soil content or poor soil conditions.
- Differential Bearing Capacity – Harder soil under part of the foundation can cause stresses as the building “settles in”.
In addition, concrete expands and shrinks with changes in moisture and temperature. The overall tendency is to shrink, and this can cause cracking in early age of the concrete.
Most irregular cracks that appear at an early age, although unsightly, rarely affect the structural integrity or the service life of concrete. Crevices caused by freeze-thaw cycles, alkali-aggregate reactivity, sulfate attack, or corrosion of reinforcing steel can appear years later. Cracks that are due to freeze/thaw cycles are an exception and may lead to ultimate deterioration. Once a crack in concrete develops due to shrinkage, temperature changes, ground movement or excessive loads, it is important to seal these cracks with Flexomeric Crack Repair Resin to prevent further deterioration, leaks, and possible mold problem in your basement.
Where does concrete crack?
- Concrete foundation walls
- From corner of basement foundation corners
- Foundation wall step downs
- Foundation beam pocket
- Concrete Slabs – Patios, Driveways, Pathways
- Concrete C
- Garages – Concrete Walls and Concrete floors
- Concrete parking decks
- And more
When does concrete crack?
The question is WHEN, not IF. This is because “concrete cracks”, simply said.
The short answer is that concrete can crack AT ANY TIME, starting from just hours after it’s poured. Concrete doesn’t necessarily crack because it is aging or decaying over time, it cracks for other reasons, but time isn’t really a reason.
There are major advancements, new techniques, new chemicals, new additives designed by top engineers to prevent concrete from cracking, but the fact of life about concrete cracking really hasn’t changed over the years. There are controls over certain aspects of the job, but assuming the contractor did a reasonable job, concrete cracks when it wants to, there is no particular time-frame associated with it.
What is the solution?
When concrete cracks appear, it is recommended that the crack is repaired by sealing the entire crack from the inside through to the outside. This illuminates further deterioration and a stronger foundation.
Who can repair concrete cracks?
Our Do It Yourself Flexomeric Crack Repair Kit provides a permanent solution for repairing concrete cracks with an easy and quick procedure for a do-it-yourselfer. Your second option is to hire a concrete crack repair contractor using Flexomeric Crack Repair Resins. Our Flexomeric Crack Repair Resins are industry leading, guaranteed, highest quality products providing you (the homeowner or contractor) with the best concrete crack repair.