Nowadays there have been many structural objects made of concrete. It is quite common since this material has a very strong and quite durable. Due to these factors, most contractors prefer to use it in building all kinds of objects like buildings, bridges, or roads. However, just because it has a great strength, it does not mean it will not get any damages. In fact, there are some factors which can cause cracking concrete.
1. The Formwork
Before applying the concrete mix, contractors must build the formwork first. It is an important part of which it will be the mold of the concrete. In addition, it has another function to hold it stand still until the mix got dry. Since it is crucial, the structure of formwork must be very strong to hold the concrete. Otherwise, it will affect the condition later, like creating some cracks.
Furthermore, we cannot change the structure of the formwork just like that. It is because the more often we change, the weaker the concrete will be. Unfortunately, some people still do it in order to endure the load of the concrete.
2. Temperature of Concrete
The temperature we meant here refers to the one during the making process of concrete. In the mixing process, there are several things we must keep in mind. One of them is the temperature. When we stir the concrete mix, the heat will get higher due to the reaction between water and cement. If the temperature is too high and the concrete is done, there will be some cracks on the surface.
3. Corrosion on the Frame
Actually, in order to prevent cracking concrete, the contractors will build some frameworks first. With these frames, they expect the cracks will spread widely into small fractures. Consequently, the damage will not get any bigger than that, and we can just ignore it. However, the result will be different if they use frames which have been corrosive. Corrosion will, in fact, create cracking concrete soon after it has hardened.
4. Overloaded Building
Previously, we have mentioned that we use concrete because it is strong enough to hold a huge weight. However, little did some of you know that there is a limit of the load for it to hold. If the burden surpasses the capacity it can take, do not get surprised if it starts to get cracking here and there.
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5. Weather condition
Weather can be a great threat toward concrete, especially when it is raining. Long-term contact with rain will create some small cracks all over the surface. From these cracks, the rainwater can enter to the inside until it reaches the frames. Most of us already know what will happen if iron meets water. Yes, it will be corrosive. And we have mentioned about how corrosion can induce cracking concrete.
6. Time Limit
Not only does concrete have a weight capacity limit, but it also has a time limit. As time goes by, this building material will get weaker and weaker. As a result, it will turn into cracking concrete when it has reached the limit of its time.
7. Poor Concrete Mixing
The way of mixing concrete can determine its function ahead. If we do some mistakes in mixing it, some cracks will appear at post-casting. But what kind of mistake that can make such thing happens? To illustrate it, there are 3 kinds of materials we use in mixing concrete. Those are sand, cement, and split. The dose of each material must be accurate. If we put only one of them a bit too much or less, this will affect the structure of the concrete. Therefore, mixing the materials requires a strict supervision.
Even if the mixing is done properly, it is not used if they have low quality. In these days, some people will try a way to press their spending. This can happen in construction too when contractors prefer to use cheap materials.
8. Poor Building Performance
Cracking concrete can also happen as a result of poor building or casting performance. Let’s say that we have mixed the materials very well with top quality products. Yet, that is not enough if we perform the casting process poorly. As an example, it turns out that the frame we have set has a different size from the main plan. Keeping the procedure ongoing with wrong frames will surely give a bad impact. Thus, once again we must say that you need to supervise every single process in detail.
9. Poor Post-Casting Treatment
Just because the casting is done, it does not mean the work is finished here. There is one other stuff we need to do here, and that is post-casting treatment. When the concrete is hardening, it means that it has released an amount of water. In order to prevent it from releasing too much water, we must conduct curing. I
t is a treatment which aims to slow its stiffening. You can do it by splashing some water on it regularly. You may also cover it with a wet hessian cloth. Alternatively, include a certain material, which has a similar function, to the mix.
10. Natural Disaster
The last thing that can trigger cracking concrete is none other than natural disaster. The cracks can occur because of earthquake, flood, fire, or heavy storm. We cannot do much about it since it is nature we are talking about. So, when it happens, we can only hope it will not destruct the concrete.
Those are 10 factors which are commonly the causes of cracking concrete. We actually can do a prevention to most of these factors. For instance, we have to supervise every single process so we can avoid any mistakes. Or, in order to protect it from rain, we can cover it with paints which have waterproof feature. The only factor we cannot solve is the natural disaster. But, it does not always happen after all. All in all, as long as we can anticipate the other factors, the concrete will not be cracking easily.
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