What the Cracks in Your Concrete are Telling You

Oct 15, 2017 | Cement Leveling Houston

Because of its unique composition of various materials, concrete is an incredibly complex substance that is very susceptible to cracking once dried. As it goes through the drying process, the surrounding conditions must be just right for proper curing. In a prior blog, we reviewed how cracking is one of the most common defects of concrete, and in today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at a few of the different kinds of cracks your slab may experience.

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Different Types of Concrete Cracks

When it comes to the cracks in your concrete surfaces, it is helpful to understand what they mean in order to best remedy them. Below, we’ve listed five of the most common types of cracks that affect slabs.

Settling Cracks

When the soils beneath a heavy cement slab are subjected to forces such as erosion or washout, the slab may not have adequate support to maintain its suspended position. If it begins to sink and settle slowly, you may begin to notice shallow, thin cracks that get deeper and wider as the slab settles.

Heaving Cracks

There are many things that can cause a concrete slab to lift or raise, including tree roots, excessive moisture content in the concrete, and repetitive freeze and thaw cycles. Cracks that result from heaving are easy to identify because the concrete on one side of the crack is typically significantly higher than the concrete on the other side of the crack.

Surface Cracks

This type of crack is exactly what you might expect based on the name. In a prior blog, we reviewed several defects that affect concrete, such as crazing. Although they can create quite the eyesore, because these cracks are very fine and shallow, they usually don’t pose too serious of a risk.

Pressure Cracks

When too much pressure is placed on a concrete slab, the slab may crack. How serious the cracks are really depend on how deep they are and whether or not the integrity of the ground underneath the slab has been affected. This type of crack is usually the result of too much weight being placed on the slab, such as heavy equipment.

Shrinkage Cracks

After a concrete slab is poured, it goes through a process called curing. This is the time period in which the slab sets up and dries. Sometimes this happens too quickly, and the result is small, narrow, discontinuous cracks in the surface of the concrete. These cracks may be anywhere from 1/16” to 4/16” wide, or wider, depending on the severity of the shrinkage of concrete.

Houston Driveway Repair

Regardless of whether your concrete slab is new or old, if it has cracked, sunk, or settled over time, Tilted Concrete Solutions can help! We are a local leader in sidewalk and driveway repair, and we offer a two-year warranty on all of our work. To request a free estimate for our concrete lifting services, call today!