Causes and Cures for Concrete Cracks

Cracks in concrete are a very common occurrence, but more often than not, misjudged. In fact, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) acknowledges this issue by stating that it is unrealistic to expect crack-free concrete, and normal to expect some degree of cracking, despite the quality of product and installation. The only method of crack prevention is to use certain paving strategies to control the cracking. And although not all concrete cracks can’t be entirely controlled, all can be explained.

Continue reading to learn some common, and overlooked, causes behind concrete cracks, and some methods that professional pavers use to prevent excessive cracking in concrete.

Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833
Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833

Cracks in Concrete

A professional paving team will use special tools and strategies to stop concrete from cracking excessively. This includes proper sub-grade preparation, accurate water-to-material mix ratio, and fashioning reinforcement in the proper places. For this reason, it is vital to choose an experienced and reputable concrete repair service that can provide quality results you can trust. But keep in mind that concrete cracks can happen despite of everything else. Here are some reasons why:

Shrinkage

One of the most common reasons for cracks to appear in newly-paved concrete is plastic shrinkage. When concrete is still soft, and not yet hardened, it is in its plastic state. This is when the concrete is still full of water. And since water takes up space, it makes the concrete slab a certain size and shape. But as the concrete cures, and leaves its plastic state, the water inside begins to evaporate. This can cause the concrete to slightly shrink.

Concrete is rigid, so the shrinkage causes a lot of stress on the concrete slab. As it moves along the granular sub-grade, it can cause the slabs to move apart from each other. And when the stress gets to be too much, cracks will appear to relieve tension. All of this is exaggerated in hotter climates and weather.

When installed properly, these inevitable cracks are hairline fissures, and barely visible. But if the installation and mixing process is done inadequately, the cracks will be larger and more abundant. One example is mixing the concrete improperly by making it too wet. It is important to get the right water-to-mix ratio to ensure less cracking. It is common for under-qualified pavers to mix concrete with more water because it is easier to install and finish, especially in hot temperatures. Although a few extra gallons won’t have much effect, too much water can create weaker pavement and larger cracks.

Expansion

When concrete is exposed to hot weather, it expands as it increases in temperature. Cracking occurs when the concrete slab expands to an obstruction point that it cannot pass, such as a curb, brick wall, or even another concrete slab. Professional pavers know to use expansion joints to help control the amount of cracking in concrete. An expansion joint is simply a point of separation between two static surfaces. Also called isolation joints, these points of separation are filled with a type of compressible material that provides adequate shock absorption. This allows a little room for concrete to expand, thus reducing the amount of cracking.

Heaving

Heaving is another common cause behind concrete cracks. It occurs when concrete slabs, like sidewalks, experience a series of freeze/thaw cycles. The repetition of frozen and thawed states causes concrete to shrink and expand multiple times. This results in the ground beneath concrete to lift, causing the slab to heave or bow. Slabs can rise several inches, and also be affected by large tree roots.

Round Objects

Drains, sewer covers, and other rounded objects in concrete pavement are common causes for cracks. In the same way that concrete experiences expansion and shrinkage, round objects inhibit concrete from compressing, thus resulting in excessive stress on the slab. This creates cracks in the concrete.

Professional pavers will constructively incorporate control joints concrete slabs. These are contraction joints that give concrete a designated place to crack when shrinkage or expansion occurs. Instead of cracking randomly through the slab, the concrete will crack exactly on the control joints.

Commercial Concrete Repair and Paving in Indianapolis

Call ACI Asphalt and Concrete at 317-549-1833 for professional concrete repair in Indianapolis and its surrounding areas. Our licensed road construction contractors provide a wide range of asphalt and concrete work for commercial and industrial properties, including inspections, installation, replacement, repair, and more. We also offer free estimates and consultations, flexible scheduling, references upon request, and more. Best of all, our work is backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so you can rest assure that your investment is sound. Request a free quote, today.

A Few Considerations Regarding the Integrity of Concrete Surfaces

When it comes to choosing between concrete resurfacing and concrete repair, there are a few important considerations to think about before making any final decisions. Choosing the proper solution for concrete renovation can save contractors and property owner’s significant amounts of money and time, and avoid potential do-overs.

Continue reading to learn the questions you should be asking yourself, and your concrete contractor, regarding concrete resurfacing and repair.

Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833
Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833

Concrete Repair or Concrete Resurfacing

Concrete is a porous, permeable pavement material, which means it can absorb moisture and water. Water enters these pores, freezing and thawing, causing cracks, fissures, crevices, crumbling, and more. Overtime, this exponential accumulation of rain water, winter precipitation, and natural wear and tear from foot and vehicular traffic, causes concrete surfaces to breakdown. In order to combat these problematic variables, it is important to use a high-quality concrete sealer.

Sealcoating is vital for additional and long-term protection against natural elements, harsh weather, changing climates, traffic, and more. Applying a seal coat to a newly paved or repaired concrete surface is safeguarding your investment. As concrete breaks down or deteriorates, property owners might begin to think about renovating or replacing their pavement. At this point, it is wise to think about certain considerations to properly assess whether or not to repair or resurface concrete pavement.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself about your commercial concrete pavements:

What is the Structural Condition of the Concrete?

Is the concrete safe to walk or drive on? Are the cracks larger than a quarter of an inch? Have the concrete slabs moved vertically yet? If the answer to all these questions is no, then a full concrete repair or replacement project is not necessary. Instead, concrete resurfacing can simply fill in the cracks and strengthen the foundation. You can even go above and beyond by adding some upgraded aesthetics to enhance and refresh the appearance of your concrete pavement.

Is the Concrete Sunken or Raised?

When concrete is sunken low into the ground, or raised above the surface level, you might still be able to avoid a full-on concrete repair project. Instead, you may have the option to use a concrete hydraulic leveler to even out the surface, and follow it with concrete resurfacing. Hydraulic concrete levelers drill a 2 to 3 inch hole in sunken concrete, and then inject a lime blend material to raise it back up to the proper level. Follow this with a polymer modified cement treatment for a professional finish.

Is More than 50% of the Concrete’s Integrity Jeopardized?

If at least fifty percent of the concrete surface is deteriorated, cracked, or sunken, concrete repair is the best option. If the thickness of the concrete is eroded or crumbled more than one and a quarter inch, then concrete repair is also the necessary choice.

For accurate industry information and advice regarding asphalt and concrete repair or installation, speak with a licensed pavement repair contractor. They can offer you the most accurate advice for choosing between concrete resurfacing and concrete repair. Be sure to choose a licensed, bonded, and insured pavement repair company with several years of experience in the industry. This will ensure you are receiving honest, educated, and accurate information.

An Indianapolis Pavement Repair Company You Can Trust

Call ACI Asphalt and Concrete at 317-549-1833 for commercial pavement repair and service in Indianapolis and its surrounding areas. Our licensed and qualified paving contractors provide a wide range of asphalt and concrete pavement repair and installation services at the most competitive prices in town, including crack filling, overlays, resurfacing, and sealcoating. Request a free estimate, today!

Why Does Concrete Crack?

You would think something as hard and solid as concrete wouldn’t crack so easily. The truth is that concrete pavement is susceptible to a variety of elements and influences that can cause it to crack, buckle, crumble, and more. Although faulty concrete installation jobs can sometimes also be a reason behind crumbling or cracked concrete (i.e. no wire mesh installed, too much sand in the mix, watered-down mix, etc.), in most cases, the reasons are natural.

Continue reading to learn what makes concrete crack and what to do if you want them fixed in your driveway, parking lot, or street.

Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833
Indianapolis Concrete Repair 317-549-1833

Cracked Concrete

Concrete commonly cracks in harsh environmental conditions. For example, concrete often cracks during freeze and thaw cycles; mostly in the northern climates of course. Freezing weather can freeze an underground water supply solid, and solid ice expands and requires more space than water. This is where the concrete is inflicted. The water-turned-ice expands underground, creating rifts and lifts in the above-ground concrete. It can cause the concrete to raise as much as two to three inches or more in most cases.

In the spring time, this cycle is reversed, causing even more concrete cracks and fractures. This is because as the ice melts in spring, causing the solid ice foundations beneath the concrete to disappear. This results in crumbling or caving concrete because there is no longer string ice beneath it for support. Once the summer time comes, even more damage is possible.

In the late spring and summer months, concrete pavement can suffer from cracking and fading from extensive sun exposure. This type of heat exposure can cause the concrete to warp and move even more so than it would in its freeze/thaw state. Once the sun goes down, the concrete will retract and settle in its original position. The problem is that the frequent instability and movement of concrete in hot weather can eventually weaken and crack the foundation altogether.

Indianapolis Concrete Repair

If you are bothered by excessive concrete cracks and deterioration, call ACI Asphalt and Concrete at 317-549-1833 for commercial and industrial concrete pavement repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our licensed and qualified paving contractors provide several Indianapolis asphalt and concrete paving services, including pavement repair, sealcoating, road work, commercial paving, industrial paving, winter cold patching, and more. We are the industry veterans to trust for skilled craftsmanship and competitive prices! Request a free estimate, today.