Concrete is one of the strongest materials used in buildings, roads, sidewalks, and lots of other infrastructure. It is not invincible though and when the cracks start to appear, it can be detrimental if not repaired quickly and correctly.
What makes concrete crack?
There are a number of things that can cause cracks. Excess water is a very common factor in residential areas. When laying concrete, some companies will add too much water to make it easier and quicker to finish. Adding too much water causes the concrete to shrink too much and crack. On the flip side, adding too little water will cause the concrete to dry too fast and cause shrinking which leads to cracking. The last most common reason is the concrete is too weak. Concrete comes in a variety of strengths, when the wrong strength is used it will crack when pushed past its limit. Almost all concrete will crack at some point but it is always a smart idea to contact professionals (like us!) to take a look at them.
Call a professional if:
1. The crack is spreading.
A small crack that is ignored can spread quicker than most people think. A crack that seems like it is branching out indicates further damage than just a minor cosmetic problem. Even if the cracks are not connected, multiple cracks in the same area are all slowly causing their own damage. The trained professionals at Minnesota Concrete can find the cause of the cracks and repair them before they create a bigger, more dangerous problem.
2. The crack is crumbling or chipping off.
When concrete beings to chip or crumble, it is called “spalling”. These cracks are the types that are a result of adding too much water when the concrete was mixed. Unfortunately, this usually calls for a whole area resurface because just a crack repair would only be a short-term solution. It is especially important to get a professional team for this type of repair, they will know the proper way to resurface the area to prevent this type of cracking from happening again.
3. The crack is large and becoming a safety issue.
In general, any crack over a quarter of an inch wide is “large” and needs a professional to inspect it. Large cracks allow for mold, moisture, infestations, and a number of other elements that will cause even more problems. If a crack is on a floor area such as a patio or pool deck, they can becoming tripping hazards. A large crack is not safe to repair for someone who is not a professional.
4. The crack causes a leak.
This reason is an obvious one. If you notice a crack begin to leak, there is a chance the shrinking/expanding of the concrete has caused a leak in a water pipe. This is a common problem in basement areas and near pools. Cracks that leak are a result of someone ignoring or not realizing the crack that is crumbling. At this point you should contact us right away and probably give your local plumber a call also.
5. The concrete seems loose or unstable.
You should not feel concrete move when you drive over it. If there is a crack in an area like a garage or driveway and you can feel the concrete shift as you move over it, there is a problem. The concrete does not have enough support underneath. The strength of the cracked concrete might be too weak or the initial support laid underneath is becoming faulty. These cracks can cause major damage, the crack could give in when driving over it. Then you have both concrete and car repairs to pay for. It is best to have the crack investigated and the problem fixed, the sooner the better.
The professional teams here at Minnesota Concrete are ready to come to you as soon as you notice any of these problems. We know it is sometimes frustrating and confusing when you find cracks, our free estimates are a pressure-free way to get the help you need. Give us a call today to get started!