How to Prevent Cracks in Driveways
While the image of a beautiful flower poking up through the concrete of your driveway might be perfect for a photo op, it means something a bit more ominous—you’ve got cracks in your driveway. With the budding flowers of spring also come a whole lot of cracks in concrete due to water retention throughout winter. In order to prevent cracks in driveways, we suggest you take matters into your own hands when you’re pouring your concrete. Here are some tips on how to do just that!
Avoid excessive drying. One of the major ways you can prevent your concrete from cracking is to ensure it doesn’t dry too quickly when you first pour it. A long drying time allows the water to reach full strength, so we suggest you water cure your concrete while it’s drying. This can be done by either spraying a mist of water over your concrete slab, flooding it, or ponding it. This ensures your concrete won’t drive too fast, since the process normally takes around seven days to complete.
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Find the perfect mix of water and cement. Be aware of adding too much water to your concrete mix as you begin the process. As concrete hardens and dries, it shrinks, which is caused by the loss of excess water. When this shrinkage occurs, the weaker the concrete becomes. In order to avoid this loss of water, never exceed the .50 water to 1 cement ratio. This will improve the overall strength of your concrete and prevent cracks in driveways.
Ensure the ground under your concrete is well compacted. The quality of your concrete is dependent on the support ground underneath it. If the subgrade isn’t compacted correctly, your concrete can collapse. To ensure the base for your concrete slab is compacted well, you can do one of two things: either use static force to compact it, which can be done with a simple heavy machine, or use vibratory force, which can be done with a standard vibratory plate. The method you choose depends entirely on your type of soil. If it’s cohesive soil, static force is enough for you. If it’s granular, then use the vibrating plates.
If those methods don’t work at preventing cracks in driveways, repairing them can be easy. There are multiple different crack fillers you can find at any hardware store, such as the Polygem Liquid Concrete Repair Kit. It can take these cracks and fix them with ease!
Do you have any tips of your own on how to prevent cracks in driveways or how to fix them?
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