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Fixing Cracked and Spalling Concrete

Concrete is one of the most popular building materials by far because it’s inexpensive, durable, strong, and can be shaped, colored, and textured in almost unlimited ways. However, it does require proper installation and maintenance for maximum longevity and performance.

Two of the biggest potential problems with concrete are cracking and spalling. Cracking, of course, is exactly what it sounds like. Cracks can appear as the result of exposure to dramatic temperature swings, stress, and impact. Most cracks occur as a result of shrinkage of concrete. Shrinkage is simply a reduction in the volume of concrete as it hardens — if this reduction in volume were unrestricted, then a crack would not occur. However, in reality, ground friction and a number of other things, such as structural connections, prevent or hinder free shrinkage and cause cracks. Of course, not every crack threatens structural safety. In fact, many cracks are merely cosmetic in nature. These cracks are typically seen in flat work such as walkways and curbs.

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Do-It-Yourself: The Right Way

Do it yourself projects have not only become a popular practice with homeowners, but in an unforgiving economy, do-it-yourself has become a necessity. Repairing, rebuilding or starting a project from the ground up without the cost of outside labor can reduce the price tag by half. However, without some base knowledge on how to use the tools and materials involved in a do-it-yourself project, there is the risk of injury and improper construction. Mistakes can be expensive, and in the end could cost the homeowner more than it would have had he/she hired a mason in the first place. So it is important to make sure that do-it-yourself projects are well explained and mapped out.

Companies like Concrete Solutions not only offer the option of labor, but also of consultation and material. Therefore, when evolving into a do-it-yourselfer a company like this can help with ideas and materials, but that is not where it stops, they go one-step better. They offer free seminars to learn the proper way of constructing outdoor retaining walls, patio blocking and walkways. Continue reading