Concrete is, without question, the most common structural flooring present in any home or building. It’s important that the material itself is protected because you’re looking at significant costs if the concrete needs repair or replacement.
Concrete problems have long haunted those who didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect the investment and we here at Non Slip Floors Australia absolutely do not want to see the same dreadful situation happen to you.
So, towards that mission, we have dedicated this blog post to the most common of all concrete problems — cracking! We’ll help you identify just all the ways concrete cracking occurs and hopefully, you’ll understand that applying a great floor coating is well worth your time and money now for huge savings down the line!
At the basest of levels, concrete is essentially a mixture of cement, various grades and sizes of aggregate and water. While concrete is fairly straightforward in what it consists of, it can be very difficult to properly place, cure and dry. So, first and foremost, make sure those three elements are done properly, or nothing will help prevent concrete problems.
However, even if all those things are done appropriately, there are so many other hazards along the way that can wreck your concrete flooring. Most primarily, dreaded cracking. It’s important to have concrete coating in order to protect your flooring, and here is why!
TYPES OF CONCRETE CRACKS
The threats to your concrete come from many places. These are the most common types of concrete cracking you’ll see:
Embedded metals such as rebar begin to corrode and expand, creating internal forces, which eventually become greater than the strength of the concrete itself. This leads to cracking all the way up to the surface.
Concrete is susceptible to temperatures like every material, including expansion as it heats up. This causes immense stress and eventually pushes the concrete onto other surfaces like walls or other concrete, it cracks.
Similar to expansion cracks, heat is the culprit. Except with thermal cracking, the interior of the concrete heats up and the exterior remains cools. When the difference between the two is too great, well, you guessed it. Cracks!
A very common concrete problem is crazing, which is where small patterns of cracks appear on the surface because the top layer dried quicker than the underlying level of the concrete. They aren’t usually deep or detrimental to the overall concrete health, but gosh they are ugly!
PLASTIC SHRINKAGE CRACKS
This occurs when moisture evaporates faster from the surface of recently poured concrete and then bleed water comes to the surface. The top layer shrinks, the wet lower layers don’t, and the stress becomes too much.
DRYING SHRINKAGE CRACKS
When the chemistry of the concrete is at work, sometimes the constraining factors like walls and other concrete don’t allow for the gain in volume of the concrete within the first few hours of mixing. The weakest parts crack as a result.
LOSS OF SUB-BASE
When the ground the concrete is laid upon settles further than originally, the concrete shifts and implodes. This is most common when the concrete is first put down.
Not all these concrete problems can be prevented, other than proper installation, but many can with our help! Take the time to find the right company to lay your concrete, then protect that investment with the right concrete coating for you.