Your concrete will eventually crack and you will need to have it replaced. However, you do not want to do that too soon or leave it too late. An overlay will be installed. Overlays have lineup tile, stone, epoxy, polymer modified concrete overlays, and many other hard surface products, which are bonded to the repaired surface.
A crack in the surface does not signify irreparable damage. It does not point to a structural problem either. While it is great for business, it does not warrant you running to your contractor in a panic.
Causes of Cracks in the Concrete
Cracks can be caused by the following:
- Mix design.
- Too much hydration of the surface during placement.
- Wrongly reinforcing or placing steel.
- Grade preparation may not have been done sufficiently.
- The joint design may have been done inadequately.
The best you can do is to get a diagnosis from a qualified and experienced concrete professional such as Ceramic Coating Lafayette who can then advise you on the next cause of action. The underlying cause of the crack must be addressed before a prescription for the repair is given.
- Types of Concrete Cracking
The cracks in concrete are classified into different types. This is important information because every type demands a different approach to repairing it. A list of the different cracks and the appropriate repair appears below:
- Check Crack
This is also known as a shrinkage crack. They are easy to identify because they are found on the surface of the concrete only and do not appear to be continuous. They are not normally considered as defects as all concrete is expected to shrink during the initial hydration stage.
You can leave it as it is or have an anti-fracture membrane installed to protect the overlay from the reflective transfer.
- Structural Crack
This one is also known as the settlement crack, shift crack or load crack, depending on where you live. The major causes for this type of crack are poor grade preparation or shifting soil. They are continuous cracks, which travel from one side of the concrete to the other.
Injection of a structural epoxy is what the experts will advise, although they are quick to warn that results are not guaranteed. Do not be misled into believing that the epoxy is intended to bond the concrete back together. The epoxy, once it hardens, works as a liquid shim which limits the inward movement of the crack. Thus, it prevents the crack from closing due to additional movement. After the injection has been done, an anti-fracture membrane should be installed over the repaired area to arrest any reflective energy transfer.
- Off-Set Structural Crack
This one is when the crack presents a raised area on either side. It does not respond to the aforementioned method of repair. The off-set crack is also referred to as a twisted crack. It moves in and out, up and down, which is why shimming it will not work. Instead, the surface that is affected should be locally removed and then replaced.
The decision to get a contractor down to your place should be made once you have located a competent one by running a search for Ceramic Coating Lafayette, for instance, so that you can get not only professional advice but also an expert to work on any repair work needed.