Cracks in concrete are not just unsightly; they can compromise its structural strength and water tightness. Keep reading to learn what causes pesky cracks to form and how American Precast Concrete can prevent them.
What Causes Concrete to Crack During Production?
Concrete cracks are so frustrating because several things can cause them. You must monitor a handful of crucial factors throughout production to avoid the following problems from causing cracks:
It’s vital to mix concrete with a set ratio of water. When too much water is present in the concrete mix, it causes differential volume changes that may lead to shrinkage and cracking.
Large Temperature Differences
When the air around the concrete or the curing surface is too cold, it can cause cracks to form. If the weather outside is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s important to monitor the concrete and air temperature and ensure there is not more than a 20-degree difference between the two.
Ideally, concrete should cure evenly throughout the entire mold. As the concrete cures, the surface will dry out too quickly and crack as the rest of the concrete cures if there’s not enough water. Rapidly drying the concrete increases the risk of cracking on the surface.
What Is Precast Concrete?
When you think of installing concrete, you probably think of the giant concrete mixing truck and the painstaking process of pouring it, meticulously smoothing it, placing the joints, and waiting for it to cure. But that’s only cast-in-place concrete. Precast concrete is much easier to install, especially since it comes precast.
Instead of pouring the concrete on-site, precast concrete manufacturers create the necessary mold and pour the concrete before it arrives. They take care of the entire production and curing process so that all that’s left to do is install it.
How Does American Precast Concrete Prevent Cracking?
Compared to cast-in-place concrete, American Precast concrete has a few major benefits that can help prevent cracking and make it better for most jobs. Although hairline cracks are inherent nature to concrete and are normal, American Precast can help prevent major cracks.
Since it is poured and cured at the manufacturer’s site, they’re able to tightly control the environment and monitor the concrete as it cures. This oversight allows them to make adjustments as needed and resolve problems before they cause cracking.
Many people prefer precast concrete because it’s guaranteed to arrive without cracks. Before the finished product is shipped out, it undergoes a strict quality check to ensure no cracks or other structural issues.
Once it passes inspection, it’s ready to be installed. Properly cast and installed concrete acts as a good insulator and keeps water and pests away.
Want to learn more about precast concrete? For reliable, professional answers, give the pros at American Precast Concrete a call today!