Useful techniques to prevent surface concrete cracks

Have you ever seen cracked concrete floor? You must admit that seen many times and tried lots of efforts to prevent it but did not get succeeded. Yes, but as a homeowner or engineer you always want to get rid of shabby look of cracked concrete floor and always try to find out the solution.

Let’s see straight into concrete property and easily can understand that concrete expends in high temperature and shrink in low temperature. Development of shrinkage starts in early age of the concrete because of the tensile act of the concrete. Although cracks are difficult to eliminate but generally they don’t impact much as far as integrity of concrete is concern.

(Image courtesy of anankkml/
I must admit to follow the standard guidelines while pouring the concrete but never follow them blindly. You should adopt right flooring technique suits your geographical condition. Following factors should be kept in mind while pouring concrete.

Know the importance of temperature

We must have to understand freeze-thaw cycle of concrete especially in winter; when temperature falls below 18 degree concrete starts freezing and at the same time when it reaches 35 degree it start melting. In process when concrete will start to gain its original shape and failed to gain original shape results development of cracks.

Moreover, rise in temperature impact concrete to expand and shrink at the time when fall in temperature. In this transition concrete unable to restore to their original form sometimes due to huge variation in temperature results surface cracks.

Henceforth, it is recommended coating the surface either with the silicon solvent or polyurethane fibers to minimize the temperature impact to prevent surface cracks.

Know the theory of Control Joints

It is recommended to provide joints in concrete to relive stresses in specific location instead of all across the surface. The concrete surface can be cut/ grooved just after final setting of the surface.  It allows concrete to relive the stresses in weaker section of the concrete flooring when it shrinks.  There are various kind of joints can be provided;

1. Expansion Joints
2. Contraction Joints
3. Construction Joints

You also can read article on  Tremix Concrete or surface de-watering  to prevent cracks on concrete flooring. 

Reinforcement reduces concrete cracks

As we know concrete is strong in compression and steel is good in tension. Shrinkage crack develop when concrete undergo to volumetric changes at the time of drying or thermal effects.  Appropriate reinforcement will provide good tensile strength to concrete and help to reduce shrinkage impact.  The amount of shrinkage depends on the spacing of the reinforcement and concrete’s chemical reaction.

Know the usefulness of basic engineering

• Water cement ratio should be well balanced and proper w/c ratio should obtain as per geographical condition to get the desirable results. It may impact adversely if not properly maintained.

• Quality aggregates and sand should be used to get the best concrete. Never use salt contained sand, as it will lead to surface cracks later on.

• Use of admixture shall improve concrete hydration and great bonding strength.

• Keep the concrete surface wet for at least 15 days to help cement concrete to complete reaction to achieve maximum strength.

• Restrict vehicular moment or loading on the new concrete surface until it achieve the full strength.

Next time you may well prepare to achieve your desirable result to restrict concrete cracks. Below in comment section you can share your views.

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