Concrete is a durable material, but it is not immune to damage. One common problem that can occur with concrete is cracking. There are many types of cracks, each with a different flaw trigger. If you know how to detect and repair the cracks, you can keep your concrete looking flawless and prevent further damage to the curb appeal!
PowerSurge Plus LLC will discuss the four most common concrete cracks and what they mean. We’ll also provide tips for the crack filling to repair the damage.
1. Shrinkage Cracks
Concrete is indestructible, but only if it is installed well. As it cures, it needs a degree of hydration to set; with uneven surface temperatures disrupting the curing, the concrete forms shrinkage cracks as it dries. They are usually small and only run through the top layer of concrete. They’re not typically a structural concern but can be unsightly with repeated freeze-thaw cycles.
Use caulk or asphalt sealant for crack filling to repair smaller gaps. You may need to use an asphalt or concrete patching compound for significant damage – but only over concrete surfaces.
2. Settlement Cracks
Soil stability & grading ensures evenly compacted surfaces to pave over. When shady contractors skip this step, or the land is naturally prone to geologic shifts, the soil can subside or shift over time. The paved concrete surface on the top also shifts and cracks.
It can also happen for various reasons, including poor drainage, erosion, or tree roots growing underneath the slab. These cracks are usually larger than shrinkage cracks and can be a structural concern.
You’ll need first to stabilize the ground underneath the slab to repair a settlement crack. It can be done by installing drainage around the perimeter of the concrete or by injecting polyurethane grout into the soil underneath the slab. Once the ground is stabilized, crack filling is done with asphalt sealant or concrete patching compound.
4. Expansion Cracks
These cracks occur when the concrete expands and contracts due to temperature changes without any allowance for expansion joints. These cracks are usually small and only run through the top layer of concrete. Use caulk or sealant for crack filling to repair the damage. You may need to use a patching compound if the crack is large.
If the damage is extensive, then a replacement patch & saw cuts as expansion joints are ideal for releasing the stresses in the pavement.
4. Heaving Cracks
When concrete is paved over moist soils in usually temperate climates, the temperature shifts can cause the soil to experience freeze-thaw cycles. The moisture in the soil expands as the water freezes and then subsides during the day. The gradual shifting can crack entire concrete slabs over time.
Ideal solutions are to repave or replace the slab and then apply a sealer.
If you’re seeing any of these five common concrete cracks in your driveway, patio, or sidewalk, don’t panic. With the proper knowledge and repair techniques, you can fix them and prevent further damage.
PowerSurge Plus LLC, serving Cherry Hill, NJ, is here to help. We’ll discuss each type of crack in detail and provide tips on how to fill and repair them. We offer free estimates for our concrete paving services to help you know what it will cost to get your concrete as good as new again. Contact us today to get started!