Pouring concrete yourself is a great way to save money and produce the exact results that you want. However, many people worry about cracks developing in recently-laid concrete slabs. Here are five tips that you can use to reduce the risk of cracking when laying ready mix concrete.
- Avoid Too Much Water in the Concrete - One of the most common factors that cause concrete to crack is excessive water content. Concrete actually requires very little water to properly bond and cure, and overwatering is a common problem among novice concrete mixers. Ordering ready mix concrete allows you to avoid this problem, since your concrete will always be mixed perfectly to order.
- Do Not Cure Too Fast - When it comes to curing, slower is typically better. In most situations, concrete will take several weeks to cure to full strength. If concrete cures too quickly, the chemical bonds that form within the mixture will be weak, leading to cracks in the concrete.
- Prevent Concrete Shrinkage - Concrete may shrink during the hydration process, particularly with mixes that have high water content. This causes the concrete to weaken and raises the risks for cracking. Shrinkage cracking can be remedied by using stealth fibers, which help keep the mixture thick and tough.
- Utilize Control Joints - Control joints are small gaps or cuts placed in a slab of concrete that give it room to expand and contract. Without these joints, tension can build up in your concrete slab due to temperature changes, causing cracks to develop.
- Ensure Proper Concrete Strength - Concrete comes in a wide variety of mixes, each with varying levels of strength. Choosing the right mix for your concrete job is essential for ensuring long-term stability and safety. Contact a professional mixer to find out which strength level is right for your application.
Using ready mix concrete can help ensure that your concrete slab remains smooth. For high-quality ready mix concrete in the San Francisco area, contact A-1 Ready Mix Concrete at (877) 398-8736.