When it comes to concrete paving for a driveway or walkway, one of the most prevalent issues homeowners experience is figuring out how to prevent concrete cracks. There are certain cracks that you will struggle to avoid, such as cracks due to weathering and surfacing tree roots; but what you can avoid is cracking due to poor installation. According to the American Concrete Institute, regardless of the quality of installation, certain types of cracking are inevitable and caused by a number of unforeseen and preventable components. Having your driveway and sidewalk professionally installed will help to eliminate the preventable causes behind concrete cracking by effectively implementing the steps in the following five areas.
Preparing concrete correctly is vital when it comes to concrete paving. Reducing water content is key because less water in the mix means stronger more durable concrete, ultimately leading to fewer cracks.
In places with extreme climates, like Toronto, paying attention to the water content in concrete is vital because expansion and shrinkage are constant issues caused by temperature fluctuations based on the quantity of moisture in the concrete.
The quality of concrete mix is another important aspect of concrete preparation. Choose quality aggregates that are hard and dense for increased strength and avoid diminishing their quality with additives that may cause additional shrinking, such as accelerators.
2. Soil Compaction
Like anything, a solid foundation is the basis of a strong structure and laying concrete is no different. If you have loose soil beneath your concrete, eventually it will settle and lead to cracks. Compacting the soil correctly beneath the concrete is a vital step in preventing future settlement.
Proper concrete placement isn’t as simple as it sounds. Concrete needs to be vibrated after it is placed on the soil foundation so that any air trapped in the mixture can be released. If this step isn’t done effectively, air can remain in the concrete, which weakens it and leads to cracks over time.
Finishing is where you will see the quality of professional work truly shine through. Our professionals utilize techniques that avoid overworking the concrete so that the integrity and strength of the mixture is kept intact and settling is avoided.
Time is vital when it comes to curing concrete paving. Allowing the concrete to dry slowly reduces the likelihood of the concrete drying out. When the process is unnecessarily sped up, you risk causing excessive water loss, which in turn weakens the strength of the concrete. The entire curing period can take up to an entire month, so ensuring the newly installed concrete structure is not used during this time is vital to maintaining its strength.
When our professionals install concrete whether for driveways, parking lots, walkways and even walls, we guarantee a level of craftsmanship that ensures design and installation based errors are avoided. Contact us to find out how affordable professional concrete paving can be!