Concrete remains one of the go-to paving materials, as it provides a stiff and solid base for your exterior flooring. So whether you install it on your kerbing, driveway or even walkways, you can be assured that it will provide you with a prolonged lifespan while requiring minimal maintenance to stay pristine. But despite its incredible resilience, concrete is not invulnerable to future harm.
In fact, the most common type of damage that concrete paving is susceptible to is cracking. These cracks are what expand to potholes and lead to the progressive deterioration of your paved surfaces. The good news is that you can avert this harm with a few measures. Here are practical tips you could employ to minimise cracking of your concrete paving.
Tip 1: Restrict permeability as much as possible
Concrete may be highly dense, but this does not negate how porous it is. When exposed to precipitation, capillary action within the concrete will lead to the entraining of water inside its pores. This entraining is exceptionally high during the colder months when rain and snow make up the predominant weather patterns. When the water collects insider the concrete, it freezes and thaws in accordance with the ambient temperatures, which in turn leads to expansion and contraction of the concrete.
As a result, cracks steadily form on the surface. It is important to restrict permeability in the concrete as much as you possibly can to prevent this from happening in the first place. An array of protective finishes and waterproofing agents can be applied directly to the concrete paving to decrease its porosity and subsequently reduce the need for paving repairs.
Tip 2: Ensure adequate compaction during installation
Another preventive measure you can take to limit the risk of incessant paving repairs is making sure the concrete paving is appropriately compacted during the installation phase. There are two main things to keep in mind when it comes to concrete compaction. Firstly, the mix used to create the paving should be sufficiently compacted to release all air bubbles present. The fewer the air bubbles, the fewer the pores that will develop in your concrete, subsequently limiting the porosity of your paving.
The second type of compaction to consider is in regards to the ground. The base where the concrete pavers are to be installed should be appropriately compacted so that the chances of settlement occurring are minimal. When the settlement is mitigated, so is the risk of undue cracks in the paving.Share
26 April 2018
Pouring concrete isn't necessarily as straightforward as it looks. Depending on the land, you have to make multiple adjustments ranging from laying a layer of gravel to putting in moisture barriers. Then, depending on the size of the concrete pad, you may need to add steel reinforcements. After the concrete has dried and cured, you may decide to add sealants, do an acid wash or play with other finishes. Then, of course, there are differences between pouring concrete inside or outside. In this blog, I hope to cover all those issues and more. If you're looking for tips and ideas, take a look at these posts. Whether you plan to hire a concrete contractor or do the work yourself, it can help to know this information.