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Why Concrete Cracks & How to Fix Cracks in Concrete

Concrete cracks in driveway fill in with caulk.

Cracked concrete is often the first visible sign of distress in concrete. Not only are the concrete cracks unattractive, but they can also become dangerous the longer they’re left alone. Cracks can grow over time and have the potential to cause serious harm to vehicles and pedestrians on your property. You don’t want to delay concrete crack repair.

Do you have cracked concrete? Understand why concrete cracks and how concrete caulk can repair and improve the look, value and safety of your property.

WHY CONCRETE CRACKS

Cracks in concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios may seem like an inevitable problem for homeowners. Why, though? Here are the five main reasons that can cause concrete to crack:

Plastic shrinkage

Concrete is made up of cement and water. As the concrete hardens and the water evaporates, the concrete shrinks. Too much water will lead to too much shrinkage, causing the concrete to crack. That’s why concrete cracks are frequently seen within the first 30 days.

Fast drying

Ever wonder why concrete cracks when drying? Concrete that dries too quickly can cause crazing and crusting. Concrete crazing (a network of hairline cracks) occurs when there is either too much or too little moisture. If you have stamped concrete, crusting can occur when the pattern is pressed prematurely.

Change in the weather

Temperature and moisture are the main culprits behind cracked concrete. When the humidity and temperature change, the concrete will shrink and expand. So, when the temperature and humidity rise, your concrete will expand, and when the weather drops, your concrete will shrink.

Heaving and settling

Ground movement can cause concrete to crack and break. Heaving results from growing tree roots or a dramatic freeze and thaw cycle that causes the ground to push up on the concrete and crack. The opposite is settling, which is when decaying tree roots or when the soil collapses like from water damage cause the concrete to sink and crack.

Overload

While concrete is very strong, applying too much weight can cause your concrete to crack from pressure. The thickness of your concrete will determine how much weight it can hold without cracking.

WHY FILL CONCRETE CRACKS?

Caulking is very important for the longevity of your concrete. While concrete caulk won’t prevent new cracks from appearing, it will ensure that existing cracks won’t get any worse. When concrete cracks, water can get into the joints, freeze, and then expand to make the cracks even larger. Caulking is a great way to stop water from leaking underneath your concrete to prevent the cracks from causing a number of issues for your property, such as water damage and foundation problems. Additionally, ff you caulk your seams, there is a very good chance that you won’t have any issues with settling in the future. Lifting an unleveled concrete slab or replacing it costs much more than the preventative measure of caulking the seams and cracks.

Concrete cracks also serve as a great place for grass and weeds to grow. Caulking the cracks and joints will keep the appearance of your concrete looking as good as new and help raise your property value. But the cracks and gaps are more than just an eyesore. Fixing concrete cracks will also prevent injury to you and pedestrians as well as damage to your vehicle on your driveway.

Additionally, if you need concrete leveling, you should also think about caulking. While procedures like concrete leveling with polyurethane will raise and realign concrete slabs, you it’s important to caulk after it’s done in order to seal the cracks and joints and make your concrete smooth and keep it from sinking for a long time.

HOW TO FIX CRACKS IN CONCRETE

From driveways to sidewalks to patios, Mr. Level has extensive experience with fixing cracked concrete by sealing cracks with durable caulk. While many believe broken or cracked concrete needs to be replaced, you can usually repair it for much cheaper with concrete caulk.

Contact Mr. Level to not just raise your concrete, but have your concrete caulked and smoothed out. We’ll send out a qualified expert to evaluate the cracks and offer you a free quote.

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