Concrete cracks can weaken your house and can lead to costly concrete repairs in the future. Cracks in concrete occur due to a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons for concrete cracks is water seepage or concrete that is not properly laid out. The good news however is that there is an easy way to prevent this problem. Here are some steps that you can take to prevent concrete cracks from forming on your walls.
Allow Concrete To Cure Properly
You may already know that it is a good idea to let the concrete cure for a while after it is laid out. Experts recommend that concrete should be allowed to cure for a few days. The idea behind curing concrete is to allow all the moisture to drain out of the concrete slowly, which helps to make the cement stronger. This in turn minimizes the chances of cracks forming on the surface. If you pour out your concrete on a hot and dry day, it is a good idea to pour water on the laid-out concrete for a few days. This will help the concrete to cure slowly and thus become stronger.
Insulate Concrete From Cold Weather
If there is a chance that temperatures will plunge below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a good idea to cover the laid-out concrete with an insulating material. The reason is to prevent concrete from becoming too cold. When temperatures are too low, the structural integrity of concrete is affected and there is a good chance that it may not be as strong as it can be. This in turn increases the chances of cracks forming down the road. You should do this for at least seven days.
Use Control Joints
Despite your best efforts to cure concrete, there is still a chance that your concrete will crack anyway. This is because there are factors that affect the integrity of your concrete surface. For example, shifts in the soil layers beneath the concrete slab can cause cracks to appear on the surface. Control joints are a way of intentionally creating weak points on the concrete slab that allow for these cracks to appear without damaging the structure. When you put control joints in place, you need to ensure that you inspect them regularly and seal the cracks as soon as they appear.
Use Correct Amounts Of Water
When you are mixing your concrete, you should ensure that you use the correct amount of water. One of the most common problems that people make when mixing concrete is that they use too much water. This weakens the concrete and often leads to cracks down the road. It is estimated that even adding one extra quart of water may weaken your concrete by up to 40%. One way to know if you have added too much water is when the mixture sloshes around when you are mixing it. Instead, it should be a viscous mixture that is not too liquid.
Waterproof Your Concrete
Another effective way of ensuring that there is little chance of cracks forming on your concrete surface is to waterproof the surface. One reason why cracks form on concrete surfaces is when water seeps through the concrete. The freezing and expansion of this water can have the effect of weakening your concrete. Waterproofing concrete helps to prevent this and keep your concrete structure strong.