Concrete is less likely to crack if moisture slowly evaporates, so your project will be much stronger if you spray it with water several times a day for the first week after you've poured the project. Not only does it facilitate the curing process, but it also protects concrete from dirt, grease and other stains. When properly installed, concrete is one of the most durable and long-lasting products you can use in your home. But it's important for concrete contractors to follow well-established guidelines regarding concrete placement.
Durable, high-strength, crack-resistant concrete does not happen by accident. Excess water in the concrete mix can also increase the likelihood of cracking. When placing concrete, avoid adding more water to the mix. Excess water will evaporate from the concrete, leading to further shrinkage.
Make sure you choose the right concrete mix for your project. It's impossible to prevent cracks in concrete, but you can prevent them from forming too soon. While you can't completely prevent concrete from cracking, there are certainly strategies to minimize it. Your best defense against concrete cracking is to try to control where cracks are most likely to occur.
Prevention begins with the creation of a predetermined location of the joints on the concrete floor. If you're a decorative concrete contractor, always remember that you didn't do anything to cause the cracks. They are a natural part of curing and hardening concrete. There are very good repair options to prevent cracks from getting worse, but there is no good method to make them go away.
When it comes to how to handle cracks in concrete, preparing your client ahead of time will be in your best interest. Adding water to ready-mix concrete increases the likelihood of segregation and excessive bleeding, which will make the concrete surface porous, weak, and prone to cracking. A specific specialist can apply “preventive medicine and precautionary measures” to concrete floors to delay the appearance of cracks. The bottom line is that a low water-to-cement ratio is the number one problem affecting concrete quality, and excess water reduces this ratio.
Concrete inevitably cracks at some point, but the insertion of control joints prevents them from appearing randomly. Engineers spend their entire lives trying to make concrete slabs and walls crack where they want. Wide cracks occur, sometimes extending through the slab, when the subgrade decreases before the concrete has developed strength. Each set of specifications you look at and each set of architectural plans you see have pages dedicated to concrete cracking.
A smooth subgrade will reduce any restraint as the concrete shrinks, thus reducing the chances of cracking. While concrete takes more than 20 days to cure, the first few days (at least 7 to 10 days) after pouring are the most critical. Big D Ready Mix Concrete has been serving customers in the Dallas, TX area since 2002, with more than 400 utility mixes, heavy-duty wall mixes, exposed aggregate mixes, flexural strength mixes, stamped concrete mixes, fluid fill mixes, grout mixes and mixtures for trailer pumps. Understand what your contractor is doing with respect to each of the items listed above and you will get a good concrete job.
Although it takes almost a month for concrete to fully cure, the curing process is more delicate for the first few days after pouring.