As with anything, concrete cracking can occur over time. No material, even the strongest and most durable, is immune to damage, cracking and deterioration. It is very common for concrete to crack. Unlike asphalt, concrete cracking tends to happen in a straight line as opposed to the alligator formation in asphalt. Just like asphalt, concrete expands and shrinks as it adapts to the temperature and any changes in moisture levels (although generally, it will shrink).
As previously mentioned, concrete cracks in straight line as opposed to wobbly alligator cracks the way asphalt does. This is due to the control joints integrated during construction. control joints are simply planned cracks in the concrete that weaken it in just the right place should breakage and cracking occur. It is almost like a perforated line to help a piece of paper rip just right.
How Can Concrete Cracking Be Prevented?
Prevention comes easy. All you need to do is use sand instead of salt during wintertime to prevent the harsh freeze and thaw cycles from ruining the concrete. Sand can prevent new ice from forming and can also create more friction for customers on your property and drivers. Freeze thaw cycles essentially cause the concrete to reach a freezing point at 18 degrees and melt back down at 35 degrees which causes shrinkage and expansion, thus, leading to cracking.
On the other extreme, hot weather and prolonged sun exposure can also cause the concrete to crack. What happens, is the heat causes expansion, and shrinkage at the end of the day once temperatures drop.
How Can Concrete Cracking Be Fixed?
Cracking can be fixed with patching, or with the application of a sealcoat. By contacting a trusted company like Richmond Blacktop, you put your property in the hands of experts with over 40 years of experience. Contact us today to get a free estimate for your next project!