When it comes to paving applications, concrete has as its main rival asphalt paving. However, when it comes to construction, concrete naturally enough is a much more common type of material. Concrete walls in particular often form the essential structural support of many buildings, and they are incredibly strong and durable. Not only can concrete walls withstand a serious amount of weathering, but they are normally protected by other external materials, making them even tougher.
In many ways, concrete walls will last a lot longer than concrete paving without maintenance. You just need to think of what’s required to keep a concrete paved surface in good nick. Specifically, it requires pretty regular maintenance and repair. Parking Lot Pros, paving and concrete maintenance experts out of Texas, note though that concrete walls do share something in common with concrete paving in that they can develop cracks over time. And these will need to be dealt with to ensure the long-term soundness of the overall structure.
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Filling Cracks in Concrete Walls
This is the most common means by which cracks in concrete walls are dealt with – they need to be filled in. There’s a correct way togo about this though and an inadequate job will only make it more likely that cracks will reopen and the wall weakened. Luckily, there are many products out there that can help maintain a concrete wall, and there’s a good deal of advice and methods that can be employed to complete the task.
How Cracks Form in Concrete Walls
But how do cracks form in concrete walls? Understanding this is key to understanding how to deal with them as this job can naturally change depending on how advanced the damage is. Right off the bat, this suggests an especially crucial point when it comes to concrete repair– you should always act the moment you notice the problem. Stalling will only make it worse and more expensive and difficult to ultimately deal with.
So, how do concrete cracks actually form in walls? Unlike concrete paving, where weathering is nearly always the cause, there are a few different things that can cause a concrete wall to crack. These include:
Just like paved surfaces, concrete walls can crack when exposed to the cold. This happens when moisture, which has penetrated the wall, freezes and expands, thereby creating a crack. This process repeats, and thus the crack gets wider.
When concrete is cured, it tends to shrink. There are ways to stop this leading to cracks, butvery oftenthis careis neglected. The simple principle here is that when something shrinks but still fills the same volume (in this case, the wall space itself), then it must crack.
These form on account of severe structural stress or impact. They can be very wide cracks and always require immediate attention – both to repair and for immediate safety.
Filling a Crack
To fill a crack, there are two particularly important things to consider. The first is that you fill it entirely and smooth over the surface so that it is structurally seamless with the surrounding wall. The second is that you thoroughly clear all dust, dirt, and debris before beginning. Fail to do thisand your repair will not last.
As a final tip, it is also wise to start from the bottom of the crack and work your way to the top. With vertical structures, the effect of gravity must be taken into account.
You will not have to repair concrete walls as often as paved surfaces but neglecting the task can be come a major problem.