Whether you’re pouring commercial concrete or trying to find the best driveway material, you’ll want the results to be of a high standard. One of the most frustrating things to happen is to notice cracks once the mixture has set. Concrete is a long-lasting, highly durable material, so if it’s mixed and used in the right way, you shouldn’t get any problems. Here are three reasons why concrete cracks and how to prevent it from happening.
Using Excess Water
It’s important to get the ratio of cement, water and aggregate right when it comes to your concrete mix, giving it the right strength for its intended application. If you don’t, it can cause the concrete to deteriorate and crack. However, some people end up adding too much water, especially when mixing it themselves on-site to make the concrete more manageable. However, not only will this reduce the concrete’s strength, but it will require more evaporation as the mixture hardens. This causes the concrete to shrink as it sets, resulting in cracks.
One of the best ways to ensure your mix remains consistent is to use a concrete supplier. They can deliver high-quality volumetric or ready-mixed concrete, creating it in the exact ratio and volume you require. They can also use admixtures to enhance the way the material behaves, including plasticisers if you need the mixture to have more workability.
Drying Too Fast
If the concrete dries too fast, it can also cause cracks to form. While you want to avoid excess water, it’s still required in the mixture to help it pour in liquid form, reacting with the other materials before evaporating. If you’ve found that certain projects such as concrete slabs are drying too fast, there are some solutions you can implement to help. One thing you can do is to add a retarder to the mix, which will slow down the setting rate. You could also use techniques to cure the concrete, which delays shrinkage. Common curing methods when the concrete is laid include actively using a mist spray over the area to keep it damp, using a wet covering or applying a waterproof seal. Get expert advice before trying any of these methods.
No Control Joints
Lack of control joints is another reason why you may end up with cracks in your concrete. These are used to control where the material cracks, spacing them at the appropriate points. They’re often seen along concrete pavements and driveways, where grooves have been manually implemented. Their purpose is to relieve pressure as the mixture hardens so that it naturally cracks where each of the control joints has been placed.
Looking for high-quality concrete supplies?
We’re a reputable concrete supplier for London and Surrey, covering areas such as Horsham, Wandsworth and Purley. We supply both volumetric and ready-mixed concrete batches, as well as offering concrete pump hire services. Contact us now for a free quotation.