Why Does Concrete Crack?

Cracked Concrete

Many people are curious what makes concrete crack. As top-rated Salem concrete contractors, this is what we have found.

One of the most frequent questions we get from home and business owners is: “Why does concrete crack?” This is a great question. Concrete is one of the most durable materials in the world. What could possibly cause it to weaken or crack? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons concrete can crack.

  • Poor placement of control joints. Control joints are designed to prevent cracking, or limit it to specific areas in the event of earth quakes or other harmful events. These should be placed no more than 2-3 times the depth of the concrete slab apart in length (read more at The Concrete Network). Many times, cheap contractors will skimp on these to save time and money, which can result in faster cracking. Be wary of this, and be sure to ask your Salem concrete contractor about their control joint placement strategy.
  • Poor subgrades. Concrete slabs are not intended to offer full structural integrity on their own. There needs to be a proper, level, compacted, and strong subgrade (generally soil) underneath the concrete. Shifting or uneven subgrades will lead to cracking.
  • Poor mixing. If the wrong strength of concrete or wrong amount of water are used in the mixture, the concrete will be weaker and more prone to cracking.
  • Inclement weather. Pouring concrete on frozen ground is never advised. It prevents full cohesion and will more likely than not lead to cracking. Additionally, if it is wet or absurdly hot outside and the concrete is not being cooled in any way, there is a better chance of the concrete cracking.

As you can see, concrete is durable after its chemical bonding takes place. Proper setup can alleviate a lot of the potential issues that can arise with a concrete job, but there are always environmental factors that can cause cracking later on. If you need a concrete driveway, sidewalk, deck, or any other type of concrete, be sure to request a free quote from a top Salem concrete contractor by using the form to the right side of this page.