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Why is My New Concrete Patio Cracking?

crack in concrete

Ask any contractor if they can guarantee that the concrete patio they pour won’t crack, and they will all give you the very same answer: No. This is because concrete will crack; no matter what anybody does, there is just no avoiding the fact that concrete cracks. Engineers and concrete experts have dedicated their lives to trying to keep concrete from cracking. And they still haven’t figured it out. As a company that has been pouring concrete for several years and has thousands of projects under our collective belts, we know by experience that concrete cracks, and there isn’t anything that can be done about it. So our goal is to try to help our customers understand why concrete cracks and how best to deal with it.

Shrinkage Cracking

There are a few reasons why concrete cracks, but the most common reason by far is shrinkage cracking. When your concrete patio or driveway is poured, it is in liquid form, which it has to be so it can be properly formed. As the concrete begins to dry, the water within evaporates, and as it does, the concrete will begging to shrink. A concrete slab will shrink about ¼ inch for every 100 square feet of surface space. When concrete dries and shrinks, cracking can occur hours after being poured. Any crack that is ⅛ of an inch or smaller on your patio or driveway is considered standard. Some hairline cracks may form and disappear after a month or two.

RELATED: Why a Concrete Driveway is Better Than Gravel

Now, does this mean that your patio or driveway will have cracks right away? While cracking is inevitable in concrete projects, it does not mean your project will suffer cracks right away. Cracks in your concrete might not show up for years and can be caused by factors such as weather, settling, and heavy objects placed on the concrete. As we mentioned earlier, cracks that are smaller than ⅛ of an inch are considered standard, but larger cracks can be cause for concern, and you should contact your contractor in such a case.

Stamped and Colored Concrete Options

How Will Cracks Affect My Concrete?

Since cracking is normal, most cracks won’t affect your patio or driveway at all. As a matter of fact, concrete remains one of the most durable materials you can utilize for your patio and driveway. Small cracks are Merely cosmetic and will not affect the lifespan or strength of your concrete project.

Now, cracks that are bigger than ⅛ of an inch or uneven can be cause for some concern. Larger cracks can signify that it’s time to repair or replace your patio or driveway. Uneven cracks can become tripping hazards and should be dealt with in a timely manner. Keep in mind that your concrete patio or driveway was built to last many years, but nothing will last forever.

Contact Us With Your Concerns

If you are hesitant about following through on your concrete project, it is a good idea to talk with somebody first. We are here to honestly answer any questions you might have about cracks in concrete or anything that is concrete related. Remember, we have been in business for years, and we are experts on the subject of concrete. And if you are interested, here are links to articles about cracking concrete from other experts on the topic.

Six Common Types of Cracks in your Concrete

How to Handle Cracks in Concrete

Concrete Cracks

 

 

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