AUTHOR: AU YONG THEAN SENGwww.madisonvelocity.blogspot.com
CRACKS IN CONCRETE: INTRODUCTION
Why Does Concrete Crack?
Cracks! At the sight of a crack in concrete, most of us panic. Lots of questionsasked and few answers.
occur as a result of
shrinkage of concrete
. Shrinkage is simply a reduction in the volume of concrete as ithardens. If this reduction in volume were unrestricted, then a crack would notoccur. However, in reality, ground friction and a number of things such asstructural connections inhibit free shrinkage and thus cause cracks.How much shrinkage is normal? A
regular-weight concrete slabnormally would
shrink by about 3/4 inch
. In other words, you should expectcracks totaling in widths up to 3/4 inch in every 100 feet of concrete. Lightweightconcrete shrinks more. It is important to note that concrete does crack and thatthis is normal. What is not normal is an unsightly and excessive amount of cracks.
Not every crack threatens the structural safety of a building. In fact, in manyinstances, cracks are merely
in nature. These cracks are typically seenin flat work such as driveways, patio, walkways and curbs.Typical causes of these cracks are
Inappropriate joint detailing
Higher shrinkage of concreteSometimes such nonstructural cracks in driveways and sidewalks become morethan just an eyesore. Tree roots and impact from vehicles can cause raveling aswell as vertical and horizontal offsets at the cracks. When these offsets becometrip hazards, repairs are necessary.
majority of structural cracks
occur as a result of the following conditions:
Settlement or heaving of soil
Reinforcement corrosionSometimes structural cracks manifest themselves with some side effects. Doorsand windows do not open and close easily. Floors feel uneven. Vinyl flooring