What are the different types of concrete cracks?

Concrete cracks are a common problem for many concrete structures. They are of different natures and can occur at any time and strongly affect the durability and aesthetics of structures.

While some types of cracks are harmless, others indicate more serious issues that can lead to structural breakdown.

You must therefore be very vigilant with regard to the formation of cracks and call on professionals such as Fissure Fondation to identify and solve the problem.

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Plastic shrinkage cracks in concrete

Concrete plastic shrinkage cracks are a common type of crack in concrete structures. These cracks form when the concrete shrinks due to changes in temperature and humidity. Crack repair is necessary to ensure structural integrity and prevent the concrete from crumbling. Typical warning signs include the formation of small cracks in walls, floors or concrete slabs, which can grow larger over time if left untreated.

It is first necessary to correctly identify and evaluate the type of crack present in order to ensure an adequate repair. A detailed visual inspection can identify the main source of the problem and allows trained professionals to choose the best treatment to repair the crack.

Once the source has been identified, an appropriate crack repair plan can be put in place to maintain structural integrity and prevent further spalling. Specific solutions will be applied for each type of crack, taking into account factors such as depth, width and general location.

Concrete expansion cracks

Expansion cracks are a common type of crack in concrete and other building materials. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including foundation cracks, insufficient bearing capacity, excessive concrete shrinkage during curing, or incomplete curing. Cracks can also be caused by water ingress during fabrication, leading to passive and active fractures.

The main causes of expansion cracks include: excessive structural loads, climatic or thermal variations, and excessive expansion or inadequate shrinkage during manufacture or use of raw materials.

Concrete heaving cracks

Concrete heave cracks usually occur on foundation walls. They are the result of vertical foundation movement that causes cracks in the concrete surface. Effects may be more severe if movement is extensive and repairs are not made quickly.

Fortunately, small cracks can be repaired with simple and inexpensive techniques. There are different types of concrete that can be used to repair cracks, including reinforced concrete, active concrete, existing concrete, passive concrete, and hardened concrete.

It is therefore important to correctly identify the initial cause of the cracks and take the appropriate measures to avoid any subsequent problems with the existing or new structure. A thorough inspection of the entire site should be carried out in order to identify any potential problems related to the lifting of the concrete and take the appropriate measures to replace or restore it.

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Ground settlement cracks

Ground settlement cracks can occur when concrete sags, causing cracks in concrete slabs or concrete floors. To prevent these types of cracks, it is important to use the correct concrete casting material and to use the correct dosage for maximum strength.

When performing maintenance or repairs on your concrete surface, it is recommended to use a pressure washer or a special product to effectively clean and repair your concrete surfaces without damaging them.

In addition, carefully check the technical data sheet provided by the manufacturer to ensure that your installation meets the standards required to obtain the maximum resistance to bad weather and extreme climatic conditions such as freeze-thaw cycles during winter seasons and high heat during summer. ‘summer.

Cracks in the concrete caused by overloading the slab

Cracks caused by overloading the slab are one of the main causes of damage to concrete. They can be caused by a bad finish, a lack of water or the weakening of the foundations. Common types of cracks caused by overloading in concrete are:

foundation crack

A foundation crack can occur when fresh concrete is overloaded and not properly finished. These cracks can be spotted easily at home centers or garages that were built with non-self-leveling concrete.

Surface water flow

When there is a significant accumulation of water, it can seep into the concrete and cause very visible cracks on its surface. These cracks are more common when a foundation drain is absent or inadequate to evacuate excess water and prevent the formation of this corrosive infiltration.

Reticular cracks

These types of cracks usually occur due to lack of moisture in the fresh concrete or excessive thermal shrinkage of the material. Reticular fissures usually manifest as an unbroken and symmetrical series of small crystalline marks and are often accompanied by scales which fall off easily due to the exaggerated loss of moisture.

H3: Transverse crack

This particular type occurs because of the structural changes undergone by the building during its normal cycle, such as climate change, land subsidence or significant seasonal thermal movement causing the cyclical shrinkage and swelling of the material which results in transverse cracks visible on the surface of the concrete floor.

Cracks in masonry joints

Masonry joint cracks are one of the main causes of cracks in concrete. They can be caused by a lack of joints, an absence of joints, or the improper use of cement.

When the concrete is damaged, it can be repaired using resin or mortar. The repair mortar is composed mainly of a mixture of cement and a mastic containing a polymer cement which ensures the durability of the joint.

It is important that the solutions adopted are durable enough to withstand weather and changing climatic conditions.

Facade cracks

There are many types of concrete cracks. Common cracks are those that appear on the facade due to the differences between the movement capacity of the concrete and the reinforcement. Water-rich concrete, residential concrete, and slow-curing concrete on soft ground can all cause these cracks. These cracks are usually superficial and can be easily repaired with putty or resin.

However, when the cracks are deeper or if they spread quickly, it is best to call a professional to do the repair. In this case, it is important that the coating is properly prepared before repairs begin as the color of the repairs will differ if this is not the case.

Also, to prevent future crack propagation, it is advisable to use a specially formulated sealant so that the concrete dries properly and is sufficiently spongy to fill any free space around the damaged area.

Cracks, crevices and crevices

Cracks, cracks, and crevices are cracks that commonly appear in concrete slabs and can be caused by improper foundation installation, improper foundation waterproofing, or poorly designed and/or constructed foundation slabs. They can also be caused by a lack of inspection of the foundation and an insufficient foundation drain.

Minor construction defects, such as weak joints between slabs, can also cause cracks if the swelling capacity of the cement is not properly taken into account. Proper inspection and proper construction are therefore essential to ensure that the cement can expand and contract without causing cracks.

Appropriate consideration of weather and climate can also reduce the risk of cracks or crevices developing. It is important that all materials are properly selected, inspected and installed to minimize this type of problem. Homeowners should carefully monitor their home to quickly identify any possible material failures that may be causing the cracks to appear.

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Learn more about concrete cracks

What are the three types of concrete cracks

  • Active cracks: This type of crack continues to grow over time in response to continued stresses. Active cracks are generally associated with tectonic movements, freeze-thaw cycles, ground shifts or other forces that constantly act on structures.
  • Latent cracks: This type of crack is present in the material but does not grow over time. Latent cracks can be caused by stresses that are no longer present or are not large enough to cause propagation.
  • Non-structural cracks: This type of crack is often superficial and does not represent a threat to the structure. Non-structural cracks can be caused by minor changes in temperature, minor movements of the foundation, or minor stresses on the structure.

What are the main causes of concrete cracks?

The main causes of concrete cracks are poor construction design and execution, poor concrete quality and temperature fluctuations. Poor design may be due to lack of reinforcement or lack of foresight of work stresses.

Poor execution, on the other hand, can be due to poor concrete mixing, poor concrete pouring or poor concrete finishing. Temperature fluctuations can cause cracks when concrete expands and contracts too quickly.

What are the warning signs of concrete cracks?

Warning signs of concrete cracks include herringbone cracks, efflorescence, corrosion spots, horizontal cracks, V-shaped cracks, U-shaped cracks, Y-shaped cracks, cracks S-shaped and broken line-shaped cracks.

The warning signs of concrete cracks can be difficult to spot and diagnose. This is why it is important to know the symptoms in order to identify the problem before it develops. There are several warning signs that should alert the building owner to concrete cracks:

Visible cracks

Vertical cracks are a clear sign that concrete movement is occurring and should be monitored.

Horizontal cracks usually indicate a lack of reinforcement or poor pouring of the concrete.

sag

If the floor or structure begins to sag, it may indicate that the foundation is not strong enough to support the load. It can also be due to temperature changes that caused the concrete to expand and contract.

Cracking and deformation

An uneven surface or twisted material can indicate excessive stress on the concrete, causing it to crack and warp. In this case, it is recommended to carry out a thorough visual inspection to identify all potential problems and take the necessary measures to remedy them.

What are the best treatments for repairing concrete cracks?

The best treatments for repairing concrete cracks include resin injection, caulking using cement mortar, caulking using putty or silicone, caulking using sealing strips , filling with concrete, and filling with an epoxy-based product.

caulking

A commonly used method is caulking. This involves using a special filler material, such as putty or acrylic resin, to seal the crack tightly and keep moisture and other contaminants out. Most of the time, caulking is sufficient to repair minor concrete cracks.

Concrete replacement

Replacing concrete is another preferred option. This process involves cutting and removing the damaged area and then replacing the concrete with a fresh mix. This option is usually chosen if the crack in the concrete is deep or has spread over a large area. Additionally, replacement may also be necessary if the underlying foundation is weak or unstable.

What is the best way to prevent concrete cracks?

The best way to prevent concrete cracks is to make sure the concrete is well mixed and the pouring method is correct. It is also important to ensure that the concrete has sufficient time to cure before being exposed to varying weather conditions and outside pressures.

The best way to prevent concrete cracks is to maintain a good level of humidity and a stable room temperature. Here are some important steps you can take to keep concrete in good condition:

  • Make sure the concrete is properly wetted when poured and dries at an appropriate rate.
  • Avoid exposure of concrete to weather, extreme temperature changes or excessive moisture.
  • Use expansion joints to allow concrete to expand and contract without cracking.

What are the risks associated with a concrete crack?

Risks associated with a concrete crack include structural degradation of the building, water and moisture penetration, development of rust, air infiltration, mold and pests, and increased damage during earthquakes and floods.

Concrete cracks can cause serious structural and aesthetic problems. They can lead to degradation of foundations, weakening of materials and a reduction in the value of a building. Additionally, cracks can also create water leaks and moisture issues that are difficult to fix.

Once a building has suffered a crack, it is very difficult to repair it. Walls may need to be rebuilt or replaced as the case may be, which can be time consuming and expensive. Also, if the root cause is not identified or treated properly, the crack could reoccur in the future.