If you are living in a concrete jungle then it is sure that you have noticed cracks on concrete walls or steps. This is something that is common and a sad part of it is that homeowners and property managers don’t seem to take those cracks seriously. Concrete services providers cannot emphasize enough that this is an indication of a structural problem and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Expert advice is needed on the matter. Homeowners or building management assume that such advice is expensive. A lot of concrete services firms would assess the situation for free and all it takes is effort to contact these firms. “It is important to accurately assess structural cracks to determine what is significant and what is not,” says John Duntemann, a principal at consulting engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. (WJE), Northbrook, Ill. “You have to properly identify the extent and cause of cracking before you can implement the right repair solution.” Solutions to such problem cannot be made unless the factor why the concrete is cracking is evaluated by a specialist.”
There are a number of reasons why cracks occur. Thermal expansion and contraction, sub grade settlement, load applied to the concrete or even earthquakes can cause the cracks. Internal and external stress can make small cracks bigger and bigger ones to further destabilize the structure. concrete contractors sydney
Types of Cracks
There are two types of cracks in concrete: structural and non-structural. The structural cracks have an effect on the stability and durability of the structure. Examples are cracks in support beams, columns and those areas with heavy load.
The non-structural cracks are not dangerous to structures. They are addressed mainly for aesthetic reasons. Property owners also take measures not to have cracks grow bigger over time which would cause damage to the structure.
Crack Location is Critical
Tiny or hairline cracks are not so problematic and may not even be noticed. However, the area where these cracks are occurring is critical. If the hairline cracks have high occurrence then there can be an underlying stress issue that needs to be looked into.
As the size of the openings increases, this should be an alarm to property owners. A rule of thumb by concrete services specialists is that cracks 0.15 inch or larger should be evaluated immediately. Experts say that the larger the width, the greater possibility of the lost aggregate interlock. However, repairs can now be made on 0.005 inch crack.
The cracks in random directions are not as critical as those found on beams, columns and load-bearing areas. Other warning signs of deteriorating structural integrity would be closely spaced cracks or repetition of cracks at the same location on each floor of a building.