4 Kinds of Concrete Cracks

Home Improvement

Even though concrete is strong and hard, it can get compromised when subjected to various conditions. Damaged slabs and walls can pose a danger to people if the cracking isn’t addressed as soon as possible. Learn more about them so you can solve these issues by yourself or have a professional do it.

Expansion Cracks
Most matter expands if heated and contracts when cooled. This same principle applies to concrete, too. In very hot weather, the walls, floors, and sidewalks swell. As they do, they push against anything that prevents them from enlarging such as trees or neighboring brickwork. If the slab can’t push away the adjacent obstacles, the force of expanding causes it to crack.

Parts of your home are no exception to this kind of expansion damage.This is a problem, especially if you have a leaky water pipe in a cracked wall. The situation can physically cause more structural damage to other parts of your house. You’ll need a plumber and concrete wall leak repair for that.

Cracks Caused by Heaving
If there’s anything that doesn’t contract when cooled, it’s water. It expands instead. During the freeze-thaw cycles in the US, the frozen ground can increase in size by several inches. When it does, it forces the floors and sidewalks to lift. However, if the slabs are fixed in place, it cracks instead because the force of the expanding ground exceeds the hardened cement’s tensile strength.

Heaving can also happen if your slabs are near trees. As they develop, they can lift the concrete to make space for their large roots.

Cracks Caused by Shifting Soil
Say you had a tree removed for your home construction. You build your new house, live in it for some time, then you notice a crack appearing on your wall. Most probably, what you see are settling cracks on the hardened cement.

The roots that were left in the soil from your tree removal have decomposed, leaving big spaces in the ground. When this happens, the ground shifts, and parts of the foundation become unsupported, while the weight of your house is bearing down on them. Without sufficient support, the cement gets damaged. A simple concrete wall crack repair won’t solve this problem. You’ll need to call a builder to reinforce your home.

Cracks Caused by Overloading Slab
Even though concrete is a strong material, it has load limits. If you’ve ever heard someone say 3,000 psi, they’re referring to how much weightthe slab can handle. This means it’d take 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure to break it.

However, most of the time, it’s not the hardened cement that can’t bear the weight; it’s the ground beneath the floors, roads, and sidewalks. When this happens, the soil shifts, and the slabcracks, just like what happens in settling cracks.

Aside from cracks being unsightly, they compromise a foundation, allowing foreign contaminants like water to enter. So call a contractor for a concrete wall leak repair or a patch up for crumbling floors and ceilings. Address these issues as soon as possible to maintain the structural integrity of your home.

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