3 Common Reasons for Concrete Cracks and What to Do About It

Concrete cracks are a very common household problem but are often misunderstood. Whenever a property owner finds a crack on their new concrete, they often assume something is wrong with the concrete or a bad quality product was used. But this is not applicable at all times. Some of the concrete cracks found are inevitable. You can hire the best concrete suppliers Brisbane to do the job of building a house but even with the best plans and designs, concrete cracks cannot be avoided.

Why Concrete Cracks?

Now you must be thinking, why do concrete cracks form? Here are the 3 most common reasons.

1. Rapid Drying of the Concrete

Once the concreting is done, the rapid drying of the wall or slab will notably increase the chance of cracking. The chemical reaction that causes the concrete to settle from the liquid state to a solid needs water. This reaction happens for several days and weeks after you pour the concrete. If it happens too quickly, cracks may appear.

2. Excess Water While Mixing

Usually concrete does not require a lot of water to achieve maximum strength. Often concrete used in residential work has too much water added to the mixture at the construction site. The more water you add the easier it is to install. But as the concrete shrinks and hardens, the water is evaporated causing a crack on the concrete wall. The wetter the concrete is the greater the shrinkage will be.

3. Lack of Control Joints

Control joints help prevent concrete cracks. The joints should be of the slab and no more than 2-3 times the thickness of the concrete.

Types of Concrete Cracks

Listed below are the 4 common types of concrete cracks:

  • Hairline crack
  • Shrinkage cracks
  • Settlement cracks
  • Structural cracks

What to Do About the Concrete Cracks?

Discussed below are some ways you can avoid concrete cracks:

  • Modify the concrete mixture: Contact premix concrete Brisbane experts for a better understanding of the ratio of the water and concrete. Be sure to choose a reputable contractor who knows the proper mixture ratio.
  • Allow more time for curing the concrete: It takes about a month for the entire curing. When waiting for the concrete to dry keep the following time in mind:
  • 24 to 48 hours, 7days (partially cured), and 28 days (fully cured).
  • Good quality concrete: Now concrete is available in different strengths and prices. It is very important to do some research before you finalise the concrete strength type with your contractor. Consult with few contractors and choose the best option suitable for you.
  • What lies below concrete: A foundation of a building is important and in the same way the soil support system beneath the concrete slab is also important. Start with a sound substrate and uniform support before pouring the concrete. You can also contact steel suppliers Brisbane for good quality products.

Bottom Line

In general, cracks can happen for a number of reasons and not always because of bad quality concrete. Cracks that are bigger than a credit card when running through the depth could be a sign of serious problems. You can consult an engineer or reinforcing mesh Brisbane expert to get the best repair solution.

Identifying the Need for Reinforcing Mesh in Concrete

As essential as construction is, it can also be a confusing field for novices. But what we all definitely know is that concrete is an essential component in almost all construction projects. This simple material allows us to create sturdy and strong buildings with ease. However, some projects have requirements that Brisbane concrete  alone cannot fulfil. This is where reinforcing mesh comes into the picture.

But what exactly is it? Who should or shouldn’t use it? Let’s take a better look.

What is reinforcing mesh?

A steel reinforcing mesh is made up of steel wires welded together in the form of a flat grid. There are many types of meshes used in construction (like carbon and fibre), though steel mesh is the most common and cost-effective. A reinforcing mesh comes in varying sizes, depending on the needs of the construction and the concrete slab size. The most common size is 150x150mm with a 4mm thickness.

A reinforcing mesh is set inside the concrete during construction. After the slab is set, the mesh inside it offers additional strength against pressure. Thus, concrete with reinforcing mesh is able to withstand much more pressure than regular concrete slabs. Contrary to popular belief, a wire mesh does not rust inside the concrete. This is because the curing of the concrete seals it completely by cutting off the oxygen that makes rusting possible. A reinforcement mesh is cost-effective on concrete prices Brisbane and prevents premature cracks in the concrete.

Another alternative to reinforcing mesh exists in the form of reinforcing bars (or rebar). Rebar is steel rods that serve the same purpose as a mesh. In most construction projects, both rebar and meshes are used together. Like the mesh, rebar also comes in variable sizes.

Who needs a reinforcing mesh?

A reinforcing mesh, while very useful, is not required in all constructions. It is important to understand where would you do and don’t need it. Most residential projects do not require a reinforcing mesh. This includes garages, pathways, and shed floors. If your driveway doesn’t see much traffic, you likely do not need a mesh either.

Larger projects that are likely to see heavy pressure need reinforcing mesh. This includes buildings, bridges, etc. Sometimes, a large project might not witness uniform pressure. In such cases, the engineers can identify the areas that need reinforcement. Some locations might just need extra reinforcement due to the age of their primary material (like old public buildings).

Even in small-scale projects, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes, the ground below might be soft. In this case, using reinforcing mesh would stop the mini concrete from sinking. Sometimes, you just know that your small construction will be under a lot of pressure (like a garage filled with heavy vehicles). In such cases too, using a mesh is a good idea.

Conclusion

Construction is like building your dreams into reality. And we all want our dreams to be strong. Using the right steel reinforcing mesh Brisbane in the right place would help your build something that lasts a long time.