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Why Does Concrete Crack?

Cracked Concrete concrete crack Why Does Concrete Crack? Cracked Concrete 300x178One of the most common questions we get about concrete, is “Why does concrete crack?” This is by far the most popular question in the history of concrete!

Concrete, like all other materials, will slightly change in volume when it dries out. In typical concrete, this change amounts to about 500 millionths. Translated into dimensions-this is about 1/16 of an inch in 10 feet (.4 cm in 3 meters). The reason Harmon Concrete and other concrete contractors put joints in concrete pavements and floors is to allow the concrete to crack in a neat, straight line at the joint when the volume of the concrete changes due to shrinkage.

The biggest complaint when it comes to concrete is a concrete crack. Like most people reading this article, you’re wondering why your concrete has cracked. You may even be wondering if your contractor did something to cause your concrete to crack. Every concrete driveway, concrete patio, concrete sidewalk, etc., will crack sooner or later. This doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in the near future. When concrete is properly placed, and aggressive precautions are taken, it can literally take 30 years before it cracks.

When talking with potential Harmon Concrete customers, I always explain the three guarantees of concrete:

  • It will eventually get very hard.
  • It will eventually crack.
  • No one will ever steal it!

But don’t let that scare you away from taking advantage of concrete’s many benefits.

The reason concrete cracks is because it has relatively low tensile strength. Tensile strength is the compacity to resist tension or being pulled apart. This is why you can’t build a bridge with concrete. It would collapse under it’s own weight.

One of the causes of cracks is shrinkage. Concrete shrinks as it cures or hardens. As the cement hardens, it bonds with the aggregates to form a rocklike mass. Often times the bonds created are not yet strong enough to withstand stress of shrinkage resulting in cracking. This can be minimized by using a concrete mix with a low water to cement ratio. Movement or shifting of the ground under concrete also causes cracking. This shifting creates stress that usually results in cracks. Concrete that is spanned out horizontally is very susceptible to the stress. Rebar and wire mesh reinforcement can help hold the concrete together but won’t prevent cracks from occurring.

If you have concrete that has cracked and are wondering if there’s something you can do with it, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Harmon Concrete is the premier concrete contractor for Northwest Arkansas and we want to be your concrete company. We would like to be your concrete company from Northwest Arkansas.

For your added convenience, we provide an online bid request form. Fill out a simple form for the day and time most convenient to you and we’ll show up and provide a free, written estimate. It’s as simple as that!

We also have a low price guarantee: Show us a written bid from another concrete company in Northwest Arkansas and we’ll match it!

Serving The Central United States Since 1987

Harmon Concrete proudly services Tulsa, Oklahoma, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Bentonville, Arkansas, Rogers, Arkansas, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, Harrison, Arkansas, Branson, Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, Joplin, Missouri, Neosho, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, Jefferson City, Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, Wichita, Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas, Dallas, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, Houston, Texas and the entire Central United States of America.

If your city is not listed, please rest assured that Harmon Concrete services all of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.