Has a crack in your driveway, the sidewalk in front of your home, front porch, or even the foundation of your home suddenly captured your attention? Professional concrete contractors know why these cracks form, but the average person doesn’t. So, we’re here today to explain the causes behind the two types of cracks in concrete: active and dormant concrete cracks.
Difference between Active and Dormant Concrete Cracks
Active cracks are called such because they change over time. The length, the depth or the direction of the crack becomes different, sometimes quite drastically, even in a short period of time. Dormant cracks, on the other hand, do not change in this way. In fact, they do not change at all.
The Most Common Types of Cracks Seen by Concrete Contractors
Cracks can take numerous different forms across all kinds of concrete surfaces. Concrete repair specialists know what causes each type of crack, and we’re happy to share this information with you.
These cracks are exceptionally thin but can run incredibly deep. Because of the depth that they can achieve, it is best to call your local concrete contractors to handle the problem.
Are you seeing cracks in your concrete that branch off of each other, like the lines of a road map? These are map cracks or superficial cracks that do not pose a realistic threat to the integrity of the concrete structure. They indicate that the concrete dried on the surface quite long before the rest of the concrete did.
These are superficial cracks that are unevenly distributed across the affected surface. These types of cracks, which do not usually pose any structural harm to any concrete fixture, are caused by concrete drying too quickly. Concrete may dry too quickly if anything in the environment causes the rate of evaporation to increase.
When a piece of stray aggregate near the surface dries within the concrete, this causes a cone-like rising of the surface and an accompanying cracking of the surface concrete. These types of cracks don’t typically pose any risk of harm to a structure but can be unsightly depending on their size and location.
Does the surface of the concrete look pock-marked and uneven? These marks expose the aggregate underneath the surface and are an active crack type commonly seen by concrete repair professionals. There are typically two causes behind this occurrence:
- If the surface isn’t properly cured, water can seep into the concrete and cause expansion when it freezes.
- Delamination occurs as a result of water or air remaining in the concrete after it has dried. This air or water finds its way to the surface and leads to these pock marks.
Scaling is a problematic type of cracking that is likely to become much worse over time, so it should be addressed by a professional concrete repair company or contractor.
Deep-looking cracks that appear along the length of a piece of rebar are referred to as the spalling. This type of cracking occurs as a result of joints within the concrete structure being improperly laid or because of rebar corrosion. This is another active type of crack that is likely to become worse over time, but it doesn’t necessarily require fixing. However, if the problem advances too far, it is entirely possible that the value of the property could be jeopardized.
If you witness a new crack having formed on the surface of any of your concrete structures, it’s time to call in the help of local concrete contractors. They will be able to tell you whether the crack could cause long-term structural damage to your property.