How to Prevent Cracks in Concrete

Concrete is a hard, durable material that is a great option for patios, driveways, and porches. Unfortunately, it doesn't last this way forever. Over time, the material can start to crack due to weight, weather conditions, and age. Here are some ways to prevent cracks in concrete and hopefully reduce how many concrete repairs you end up needing. 

Start With Good Joints

The way the concrete slabs are installed can make a big difference in how long they remain in their current condition. This includes having excellent joints. There are some different types of joints to consider, including the isolation joints to allow for gradual expansion without damage, and construction joints that are used during the installation process. You can also guide the future cracks to certain areas of the concrete, whee they will be easier to repair. This is done by creating control joints, sometimes known as contraction joints. There will be certain joints where the concrete is weaker so the cracks occur in this area. 

Be Careful With Extreme Temperatures

A common cause of damage to concrete, especially driveways, is with extreme temperatures. The concrete likely doesn't have much shade or cover, so it is fully exposed to the elements. This is a danger for extreme cold and hot temperatures. With cold temperatures, a layer of snow and ice might form on the concrete. If you are using a shovel to remove the snow, you risk damaging the surface of the concrete and causing cracks. It is also important that you use sand when trying to create traction due to ice and snow, instead of salt. Salt can be damaging to concrete. Concrete can also expand with high amounts of heat, putting it further at risk, so be careful when the temperatures start to rise.

Seal the Driveway

One of the best things you can do for your concrete driveway or patio is to have ti sealed. Not only should you apply a good acrylic sealant after it is installed, but about once a year or so afterwards. The sealant is easy to apply on your own or you can have a contractor do it for you. It provides an extra layer of protection over the driveway, minimising damage from heavy vehicles, extreme temperatures, and general wear and tear.

As soon as you see a crack, no matter how minimal, contact a concrete contractor. They will fill the cracks and provide sealant if necessary. Fixing them before they become too severe can help save the concrete from needing to be replaced.