Concrete is an essential part of the construction industry. It’s used in a variety of ways, from building commercial and residential buildings to footpaths and driveways.
While concrete can be strong, durable, and attractive when it’s finished properly, cracks are common problems that appear over time as the material weakens or settles unevenly. This issue becomes more pronounced if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent cracking before it happens.
You can actually avoid cracks by cutting concrete expansion joints into your concrete before installation or repair work begins. Expansion joints allow for movement in your concrete so that stress on the surface doesn’t cause cracking later on down the road. By incorporating them early on in your project timeline, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in the future.
To learn more about cutting expansion joints in concrete and why they are important, please continue reading below:
1). Reasons For Cracks In Concrete
Firstly, we need to understand what causes concrete to crack in the first place. Cracks in concrete are a common problem. There can be many reasons that lead to concrete cracking, but one of the most common causes for this problem occurs when too much water seeps into a foundation slab before it has completely set or cured.
Concrete naturally shrinks as it dries out however, if there is too much water present either in the cement mixture or in the nearby surrounds, this can lead to more cracking than usual.
Another thing that may cause concrete cracking is excessive rainfall combined with improper drainage practices. This can often lead to cracked foundations which will need professional attention from construction experts if they are not repaired quickly enough.
2). What Are Expansion Joints And Why Do They Matter?
Expansion joints are a series of uniform strips in concrete that are cut into concrete for a purpose. Expansion joints allow for shrinkage and contraction to happen without cracking, because they absorb any pressure that is put on them by the concrete around them.
Without expansion joints, cracks would form from stress-pulling perpendicular forces against each other during cold weather or expanding heat throughout warmer days which can lead to greater damage over time.
3). Benefits Of Cutting Expansion Joints In Concrete
Concrete is a strong and durable building material however, as we have discussed earlier, it can be prone to cracking if not properly cared for. One way you can care for your concrete slab is by cutting expansion joints in the surface with specialised concrete saws.
Expansion joints help to prevent cracks from forming and splintering as the slab expands or contracts with changes in temperature, moisture levels, freeze-thaw cycles etc. Cuts like these allow for perpetual movement of the concrete without compromising the integrity of your surface – this is why they’re important to have!
4). How To Cut Expansion Joints In Concrete
There are two ways expansion joints can be cut in concrete. The first is a straight line, which cuts the joint perpendicular to the horizontal or vertical surfaces of adjacent slabs.
It should meet at least one edge on each side and it must not overlap with any other cracks such as those caused by shrinkage or lapping pieces together when they were poured separately during construction. This will weaken them even more than cutting does alone.
The second way to create expansion joints is angled across an exposed surface so that water has less opportunity for erosion over time. This method also prevents buckling from occurring under heavy loads since compression forces won’t act directly against the edges but rather will be shared between many sections (though you may need extra reinforcement).
5). Best Tools For Cutting Expansion Joints In Concrete
When it comes to selecting the best tools for cutting expansion joints in concrete, there are a number of choices that can be made. The final choice will depend on various factors such as size and depth required.
However, the two most common methods are the following:
- Circular saw blade with a carbide tipped or diamond coated teeth
- Diamond abrasive wheel on an angle grinder (wear appropriate mask and safety gear)
Whichever method you choose, diamond blades are the best option because they provide clean cuts with no chipping or cracking off pieces. This will give you a nice clean finish.
6). Tips To Avoid Cracks While Pouring A Concrete Slab
It’s important to pour concrete in a controlled manner. The key is making sure you have the right mixture of sand and water, as well as an appropriate amount of cement for your project.
You should also be aware that pouring too slowly can cause cracks while not enough or too much will lead to undesirable results such as unevenness and density inconsistencies which could require some patching work later on down the road.
If there are any dangers associated with pouring certain types of slabs (such as rough surfaces), these should be addressed before starting construction so it doesn’t spell disaster when it comes to pouring!
Also, be sure to pour the concrete in a way that doesn’t leave any air pockets. When you feel there are no more bubbles coming up from your slab, stop pouring and carefully take away excess water with squeegee so it will dry faster.
The best way to avoid cracks in concrete is by cutting expansion joints. If you cut the right size and length, your concrete will not crack when it expands or contracts with changes in temperature.
By following the simple tips in this blog, you can ensure that your cement won’t break apart so easily during extreme heat waves or cold spells (or even regular weather patterns).
If you have a concrete project coming up, you might also consider contracting professionals who know how to install expansion joints correctly.