Why does concrete crack?

Why are there cracks in my concrete?

There are a number of reasons why concrete can crack. The most common is called ‘dry-shrinkage cracking’.  As part of the curing process, concrete shrinks when the excess water evaporates and as it hardens. Unfortunately, too often contractors add too much water to the mix, which makes it easier to lay but also more vulnerable to cracking.

Concrete can also crack if it dries too quickly. Keeping the surface moist as the concrete cures helps prevent cracking.

Weather conditions — extreme temperatures, rapid temperature changes or conditions that are too wet or too dry — also play a major factor in how well concrete cures.

Another consideration is if the contractor uses control joints/cuts and spaces them properly. Contractors place saw cuts in the concrete with the anticipation that it will crack. Also called “relief joints,” control joints are the straight lines or grooves you typically see at regular intervals on concrete paths, driveways and garage floors. Their purpose is to relieve the pressure that leads to cracking with the cracks essentially forming in those grooves, so that, cosmetically, it’s barely discernible.

If there are surface cracks in your concrete, it can be repaired by brushing cement powder into the cracks. This effectively seals the cracks and gives the concrete a longer life.

We deliver our concrete to the following towns and their surrounding areas: Bedale, Boroughbridge, Catterick, Easingwold, Harrogate, Helmsley, Knaresborough, Leeming, Leyburn, Masham, Northallerton, Richmond, Ripon, Pateley Bridge, Tadcaster, Thirsk, Wetherby and York.