Concrete will crack. It’s not a matter of “if” with most installations, it’s a matter of “when”.
But not all cracks are created equal. Some may indicate deeper issues, while others may just be surface level or natural. Your concrete needs to be in the best possible shape but some cracks aren’t necessarily worth your time.
So how do you know?
Normal cracks vs. dangerous cracks
Cracking is very natural for concrete slabs, and it’s more common if the mix is off slightly in its ratio. Concrete is sensitive to its surroundings and depending on the way it’s mixed, it can crack as early as a few hours after the slab is laid down.
It’s pretty normal for a slab to develop a few fine cracks through the drying process. Cracks can also occur due to the cycle of freezing and thawing, which is exacerbated in an area with the kind of weather fluctuations that Oklahoma sees.
Tree roots and ground settling can also cause cracks. These can be more severe, but they don’t start out that way.
Cracks are only a big problem once they start expanding. If your concrete has rebar in it, cracks get severe fast. Water reaching the rebar causes it to rust and exponentially expand, buckling and tearing apart any concrete.
Water getting into the cracks will tear concrete apart as well. When the freeze and thaw cycle hits, any water in the cracks will expand and push the concrete out, making the crack wider.
Not all cracks are dangerous immediately. Some start small and expand. That’s why you need to keep an eye on your concrete regularly. If you’re staying on top of it, you’ll catch expanding cracks before they become a problem.
Fixing concrete cracks
Carbon fiber reinforcement is a great way to fix exterior cracks, especially in areas that are load bearing. With specific fiber wraps, you can make sure that your concrete doesn’t collapse under the strain of a load. It’s a great way to repair concrete beams or floors.
Epoxy injection is another way to fix a crack. With proper preparation for the surface, epoxy can be injected into the crack to fill it and keep further water incursion out. It takes some time to cure depending on the size and depth of the crack.
Is your building’s concrete cracked? Contact JK Industries and we’ll help you fix it. Find out what makes us your best choice for concrete repair.