Concrete and masonry are commonly used building materials due to their strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness. However, over time, these materials may develop cracks, which can lead to structural problems and decrease their aesthetic appeal. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how to prevent concrete and masonry cracks.
A) Use quality materials
Using quality materials is the first step in preventing concrete and masonry cracks. Cheap or inferior quality materials may save money in the short term, but they can lead to problems later on. Using high-quality aggregates, cement, and additives can improve the strength and durability of concrete and masonry.
B) Properly mix and place concrete
Properly mixing and placing concrete is crucial for preventing cracks. The water-cement ratio should be maintained at the recommended levels, and the concrete should be properly consolidated to remove any voids. Proper curing is also important to ensure the concrete reaches its full strength potential.
C) Reinforce with steel
Reinforcing concrete steel can significantly increase their strength and prevent cracking. Steel reinforcement can be added in the form of rebar or welded wire mesh. The steel provides additional support to the concrete or masonry, helping it withstand stresses that may cause cracking.
D) Control joints
Control joints are designed to create a weakened area in the concrete or masonry, which can control where the cracks occur. These joints are placed at regular intervals, typically at a spacing of 24 to 36 times the thickness of the concrete or masonry. This allows for the material to expand and contract without causing significant stresses that could lead to cracking.
E) Proper drainage
Water can be a major cause of masonry cracking, especially if it is allowed to penetrate the material and freeze. Proper drainage can prevent this by directing water away from the concrete or masonry. Gutters, downspouts, and proper grading can all help to prevent water from pooling around the structure.
F) Maintain the structure
Regular maintenance can help to prevent cracks from developing in concrete and masonry. This includes fixing any cracks that do develop, repairing any damage to the structure, and cleaning the surface to remove any dirt or debris that may cause damage over time.
If you're getting the assistance of a professional masonry company in Richmond Hill, you won't have to worry about taking on the steps above yourselves. However, armed with the knowledge of what enhances the longevity of masonry structures, you can ensure your masonry contractors are following the proper steps for a strong and stable installation.