Are you frustrated with the concrete cracks appearing on your beautiful structures? Then you should go in for a concrete crack repair to save your structure from further deterioration. The things should you know about concrete cracks Concrete is a composite mixture of construction material that is composed of cement, aggregate and water. The formulations used in the making of concrete make it relatively high in the compressive strength and low or weaker in tensile strength. Therefore, to overcome this weakness of concrete (in tensile strength) it is reinforced with materials such as steel (strong in tensile strength) is recommended while building concrete structures. Concrete is being widely used in building various structures, such as dams, bridges, motorways/roadways, reservoirs, pipes, footings and in a majority of structures. Concrete cracks are a common phenomenon and usually occurs because of shrinkage of concrete. This shrinkage occurs due to the reduction in the volume of concrete when it hardens. Concrete cracks would not appear if the reduction in volume is unrestricted but in reality due to various factors such as ground friction, structural connections do result in inhibiting the free shrinkage and obviously in concrete cracks. A normal shrinkage of about ¾ inches on a 100foot long regular concrete slab is normal and one can expect cracks totaling in widths up to ¾ inch in every 100 feet concrete. Such types of cracks are deemed cosmetic in nature. However, it is not feasible to leave these cracks as they may further result in the gradual deterioration of the building and appear ugly or as an eyesore for the viewers of the structure. Therefore, it is recommended to go in for a concrete crack repair as soon as possible in order to minimize the damage to the concrete structure.
There are different types of concrete cracks thus, concrete crack repair is prescribed depending upon the types of the concrete crack. The following types of concrete cracks normally occurs
1. Hairline Cracks – In case of hairline crack, concrete crack repair can be done by using Concrete Welder that is available in a cartridge format. However, it is recommended to make the crack clean and moisture free before squeezing the Concrete Welder directly into the crack. Using the scrapper, the Concrete Welder must be smoothened out and any excess material must be wiped out and allow the mixture to be dried up for 30 minutes.
2. Large Cracks For large cracks the basic steps involves removing the concrete chips, brushing away any debris with a wire brush and sweeping out the crack with broom. The cleaning of the crack must be done with a mixture of trisodium phosphate or TSP and water. The next step is to fill up the crack with aggregate and then scrubbing the crack with trisodium phosphate mixture.
3. Concrete slab cracks The best way to repair concrete slab cracks is to use polymer based repair works or using vinyl concrete patch cement as these products pack the crack well and one has to smoothen the top of the concrete patch with cement. Covering the repaired part with wet burlap and wetting the burlap for two day is necessary to make the cement dry and solid.
These are only the basic methods of concrete crack repair, therefore it is required to consult your structural engineer or concrete experts for further study of concrete cracks in case of major damage or repair to your building structure.