Concrete is one of the most durable materials available when it comes to building. For this reason, concrete is widely used in construction for everything from driveways to basements. Despite its durability, however, concrete is still subject to wear and tear — especially when subjected to the elements. One of the biggest concerns when it comes to concrete is cracking. While some forms of cracking don’t pose any threat structurally, it’s always a good idea to repair any cracks that appear in the surface of your concrete.
Causes of Concrete Cracks
Cracks in concrete can be caused by many different factors. These include:
- Drying and shrinking. When concrete dries and shrinks, small hairline cracks are likely to form. These small cracks are generally not a problem structurally and only need to be fixed for aesthetic reasons, if desired.
- Settling of the foundation. If the foundation for the concrete was not sufficiently compacted or leveled correctly, settling will occur, causing cracking.
- Heaving. This type of crack is damaging to the concrete. This type of crack occurs when the base beneath the concrete expands, pushing the concrete upward and therefore causing damage.
Cracking in concrete can cause multiple problems if not fixed correctly. Uneven concrete can cause a safety hazard for tripping. This also leaves the concrete exposed and at risk for water damage. If water gets into cracks and runs below the slab it will continue to cause extensive problems with your concrete.
The source of the crack should first be identified and the cause resolved before repairs of the concrete itself should take place. For small cracks, a chisel should be used to widen the crack to approximately ¼ inch wide. After brushing away loose debris, a concrete floor sealer should be used to fix the crack. There are many self-leveling products that can be used to seal cracks, usually available in a caulking gun for ease of use. The crack should be fully filled in order to prevent any moisture from seeping in. concrete foundation crack repair needs to be done as promptly as possible after cracks are first noticed in order to avoid further problems.
A concrete floor sealer will be your best course of action when cracks do appear in your concrete. Taking the time to correctly prepare the concrete and apply the sealer from edge to edge will prevent further deterioration and any further cracking.