It is natural to be bothered and worried when damage starts to appear on concrete floors and surfaces. Aside from its unappealing appearance, it could also be a sign of age and deterioration. However, there is no need to fret. Most cracks are minor and do not require a concrete slab replacement. Let’s discuss more about concrete damage, what causes it, and when are concrete repair contractors necessary.
What Causes Concrete Cracks, Flaking, and Chipping?
There are many reasons why concrete gets damaged, here are the most common reasons:
- Concrete has shrunk – It is important for concrete to be mixed properly and with the appropriate amount of water to make sure that it dries and cures without issues. Cracks often indicate the lack of water in the mix that it dried out prematurely. Another reason could be the rapid change in temperature in its surroundings.
- Subgrade movement – Soil naturally moves especially with the presence of water. This movement causes cracks to appear in the concrete. It is also possible for the slab to move due to expansion, especially in very warm climate.
- Improper compaction – Before anything can be built on the ground, the soil must be compacted to make sure that it is stable enough and non-moving. If the subgrade is not properly compacted or never compacted at all, there is a possibility for it to sink and move. The concrete slab develops cracks as it loses its support from underneath.
- Extreme weight and impact – The pressure of heavy loads on concrete could cause cracks. So does the sudden impact of anything dropping, falling, or tumbling down the slab. But these are often just surface cracks that are easy to repair.
- Damaged steel foundation – If you notice cracks with some kind of rust-colored liquid oozing out of it, it could indicate that the steel foundation has rusted and is now brittle and weak. This requires a replacement of the entire foundation and a new pour.
When to Call a Professional Concrete Contractor?
Not all cracks are indications of something severe. Oftentimes, it could just be superficial and can be easily sealed or filled. However, if the cracks are large, deep, leaking rust, and recurring, then it is high time to contact a pro. Deep, working cracks is a result of a deeper and more extensive issue. The entire slab or a section of the slab must be removed to be able to access where the issue is and do the proper repairs. The concrete slab is then replaced with a new mix.