Why Does New Concrete Crack?

why-new-concrete-crackAt R&M Concrete, we often get calls about other concrete companies work. The most common question asked is, “why is my brand new concrete cracking?” The unfortunate truth is that all concrete will most likely crack within the first year of placement.

Why does concrete crack?

When concrete is curing it will shrink on average 1/16th of an inch for every 10 linear feet. This may sounds like a low number, but shrinkage cracking is a common concrete mistake. Concrete is always under compression, but when shown to tension it is prone to failure much more rapidly.

In colder climates such as Tulsa, we have a freeze/thaw cycle to contend with. When the weather changes, sidewalks, patios, driveways, and other slab on grade concrete face extreme cycles. Every winter the ground freezes, that forces to ground to raise up. When the sun comes out, it thaws the ground, and it does not always do it evenly. This means that a portion of the concrete slab in the sun may thaw and start to drop while the section it is attached to is in a shadow and stuck on higher frozen ground. This stress will also cause the concrete to crack.

How to prevent concrete from cracking

Almost every concrete contractor hides what is called a “control joint”. This is a grove tooled or cut into the concrete to help relieve the stress of the concrete. There are basic rules to follow when placing these control joints with spacing and at corners. When a contractor has been finishing concrete long enough, they should know where to place these joints and maintain a pleasing appearance.

R&M Concrete – Tulsa Concrete Company

R&M Concrete is Tulsa’s premier concrete company, delivering quality work and service on all concrete jobs we do. For a free quote or to learn more about R&M Concrete and our commitment to excellence, call 918-809-2235 or click here to contact us.