What causes concrete to crack?

There are different types of concrete cracks. The most common of these is related to the natural shrinkage of concrete as it cures and dries. Shrinkage cracking can be controlled or “hidden” by following proper jointing techniques. Different factors and conditions can contribute to each type of cracking. It is important to understand these potential causes and take appropriate action to prevent cracking.

Concrete a “Do-It-Yourself” project?

Concrete can be a do-it-yourself project provided recommended concrete practices are followed. Some things to consider are subgrade preparation, finishing methods, jointing and curing. Concrete is a perishable material so it is imperative that it be placed and finished in a timely manner. Additionally, most concrete producers assess “holding charges” if concrete trucks are held at the delivery location in excess of a predetermined amount of time. Concrete is very heavy so it is recommended that you have adequate assistance and the proper equipment and tools when placing and finishing. Should you decide to hire a concrete contractor, Thoutt Bros is ready to assist in completing your project.

Why does some concrete develop surface deterioration?

Surface deterioration is usually referred to as scaling. Scaling is a local flaking or peeling of the finished, hardened concrete surface, resulting primarily from multiple freeze-thaw cycles. The condition can be aggravated by the presence of deicing materials such as salt. Any product that is intended to melt ice and snow can contribute to scaling. Even products labeled “Safe for Concrete” can contribute to scaling. The probability that scaling may occur can be reduced or eliminated by using a durable concrete mix and following recommended concrete placing, finishing and curing/sealing practices. Thoutt Bros. personnel are available to assist you in selecting the concrete mix and curing and sealing products for your project. Please contact us for assistance.

What are the benefits of fiber reinforced concrete?

Fiber reinforcing will reduce the potential for cracking and improve the impact and abrasion resistance of your concrete slab. For more information on the benefits of fiber reinforced concrete, please contact us.

How soon can new concrete be put into use?

During periods of moderate to warm weather, new concrete could be opened for pedestrian traffic in twelve to twenty-four hours, or when the surface becomes “scuff resistant.” A general guideline is that new concrete should not be opened for vehicular traffic for a minimum of seven days. This seven-day period can be significantly reduced by using a faster setting, stronger concrete mix. Please note that concrete gains strength more slowly in colder weather so more time may be needed before putting your new concrete into use.

What causes discoloration of concrete?

There are different types and causes of concrete discoloration. Dark, shadowy areas may appear if the fresh concrete was placed over alternating wet and dry areas of the subgrade. Darker areas are typically located where the subgrade was too wet or actually muddy. Temporarily covering concrete with poly sheeting or construction blankets can also cause the hardened concrete to be darker in appearance. Another possible cause of dark, mottled areas is the uneven application of curing/sealing products. Curing/sealing products should be applied as uniformly as possible with a nozzle that will produce a fine spray or mist. There can also be differences in coloration between concrete slabs placed on different days. This is usually due to slight variations in temperature and weather conditions from day to day. The potential for discoloration can be greatly reduced by following recommended placing, finishing and curing practices, as