The most common question and most common misconception about concrete is, “Will it crack?”. The answer is simple… Most Likely Yes, but don’t be frightened. Bellow, you will learn all about cracks in concrete and what we do about it
As concrete hardens it begins to shrink ever so slightly. In fact, concrete shrinks 1/16th of an inch for every ten feet of length that are placed. Which may result in cracks that are 1/8th inches thick. There is no minimum grace period or time limitation, a crack may appear within a day of a slab hardening, or after decades of undisturbed, unblemished surface. The key is not in stopping the cracks, but rather minimizing the impact it might cause.
Experienced contractors are aware of this and that why they install what’s called contraction or crack control joints that encourage the concrete to crack at these locations. For the joints to work correctly they need to be a minimum depth. Always make sure that these joints are cut 1/4 or more of the thickness of the slab.
WE ENSURE THAT EVERY CONCRETE SLAB WE POUR:
- Placed on a firm, compacted base
- Reinforced With minimum 10M – 24″ o.c Re-Bar & abundantly and appropriately gauged for the intended use
- Placed On 10 Mil Underslab Vapor Barrier & Retarder to reduce the penetration of moisture and water vapour through the slab into the structure
- Has consistent and correctly placed with anchored steel re-inforcement
- Poured with concrete mixed to the correct strength for the intended use (min. 32mPA for Garage Slabs)
- Has enough depth of concrete to support the intended use
While 85% of the curing process occurs within the first 3-4 weeks, full curing process takes more than 6 months, etc. If cracks are 1/5″ or wider, it is a sign of poor concrete mix or reinforcement inside of the concrete. Normally smaller cracks are to be sealed after a year of use. Alternatively, it may be painted or epoxy polyurethane covering may be applied. And in no way, they are affecting the sturdiness of your garage foundation. At Alta Home, we offer placement of control joints at no extra cost upon customer request. This will ensure all those smaller cracks follow the saw cut in the middle of the pad.
A crack is a surface blemish only, it does not compromise the originally intended function, shape, or grade of the slab. Cracks are unavoidable and are not covered by our warranty policy, which is consistent with provincial guidelines set out by construction organizations in Alberta such as the A.R.M.C.A. (Alberta Ready Mix Concrete Association) and the Alberta New Home Warranty Program Workmanship and Material Reference Guide.