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Residential • Commercial • Industrial

How to Keep Those Cracks Out of Concrete

Cracks On Concrete
Concrete is a wonderful building material that works well for all kinds of projects. With that said, however, one big worry that people commonly have with concrete is cracking. If not prepared properly or if not maintained properly, concrete can easily crack, reducing its attractiveness and its longevity.

Fortunately, you can minimize cracks by buying pre-cut concrete and following a few simple tips - or by having concrete cut professionally.

Keep Concrete Moist While It Sets

If you want to do most of your concrete work yourself, keep in mind that concrete needs to stay moist until it has fully set. If it becomes too dry in one part, the too-dry part will affect the other parts, thus causing cracking.

Fortunately, you can easily avoid this issue by finding ways to keep concrete moist during the entire setting process. The easiest way is by covering the surface of the concrete with a material that is good at trapping moisture. Suitable materials include things like burlap and plastic.

You may also want to regularly mist the concrete with water using a small spray bottle until it has fully set and dried.

Ensure That Your Concrete Is Equipped With Control Joints

Whether you are buying pre-cut concrete, which is recommended, or creating your concrete yourself, make sure that your concrete includes control joints.

These are inserts that serve as planning for cracks. Since concrete is naturally prone to cracks, control joints account for this fact. They serve as a purposeful weak link in the concrete. Thus, when shrinking or other issues that commonly cause cracking occur, they will happen in the control joint where they will not be visible or cause any harm to the actual concrete.

Preventing cracking can be very difficult, but if you account and plan for it with quality control joints, then worries about cracking become a thing of the past.

Never Add in Too Much Water

While too-dry concrete can often be a cause of cracking, the same can be said for concrete that is overly wet when it's mixed.

When too much water is added into a concrete mixture, which is often the case with cheaper or lower-quality concrete, a real concern is that the concrete will shrink as the moisture dries out, thus leading to cracks.

The key to avoiding cracking is to ensure that just the right amount of moisture is present. You can accomplish this by buying pre-cut or professionally pre-formulated concrete. In do-it-yourself cases, however, follow all instructions carefully to ensure perfect moisture content. Otherwise, cracking and other problems are bound to occur.

Place Your Concrete on the Right Surface

Cracked concrete is not always due to improper preparation. Sometimes, cracking can occur due to where the concrete is placed.

Ensure that the place you choose has a strong, sturdy surface that will not cause too much settlement, which can easily lead to cracking.

When placing concrete on soil, properly compact it first. Also, don't place concrete anywhere where it can be affected by water erosion, tree roots, or other issues.

If you are unsure if you are placing your concrete in a desirable area, seeking professional assistance before proceeding is always advisable.

In fact, anytime you are unsure, professional advice is always warranted. If you're worried about cracking or other issues with your concrete, despite your best efforts, don't forget that you can always call on the pros for assistance.

At Capitol City Concrete Cutters LLC, we provide professional concrete cutting services and can also install control joints in your new concrete. Contact us today for an estimate on either service.

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