How to Fix The Cause of Hairline Cracks in a Concrete Patio
Concrete is ultra-durable, which is why it’s a mainstay in patio walkways. However, it is still vulnerable to damage, which may manifest on the surface in the form of cracks and splits.
Hairline cracks are normal with concrete patios. Find out below how to fix them, and why calling in a professional is always advisable.
What Caused the Crack?
The solution is dependent on the cause of the fracture. With patio concrete, the cause is usually attributed to loose and shifting soil underneath, which causes the concrete to constantly move and eventually settle or slope at an uneven angle. Often, during installation, the concrete is poured on uncompacted soil that is improperly backfilled. Loose soil is especially commonplace in the Dallas Fort Worth area, which is known for clay soil conditions.
Other causes include slab installation without proper expansion joint placement. Drainage issues are another cause. Downspouts may release water directly on the concrete, where it reaches the soil and causes it to expand and contract. When concrete consistently moves, hairline cracks may begin to form, which may expand and cause the slab to completely split apart.
So, what are the repair methods for hairline cracks?
Concrete patio raising for hairline cracks is the most viable solution in most instances. Remember, the crack appeared in the first place due to the shifting soil beneath. With concrete raising, filler is pumped into the soil beneath to eliminate gaps and pockets of air. This compacts the soil and prevents future damage. As for existing hairline cracks, they can be resurfaced, restoring the concrete to its original position.
Urethane caulk is a sturdy substance used to patch existing cracks. Even when the caulk dries and hardens, it remains flexible enough to allow the crack to move without causing further damage.
We must point out, though, that this solution only masks the bigger underlying problem; that is, the loose soil beneath. Without concrete raising, caulk sealing is merely a band-aid and a temporary fix. This method should always be a part of a bigger procedure that includes concrete raising.
With this method, the crack is cleaned before epoxy is applied to restore the surface. However, like caulk sealing, this method does not address the soil issue. Even if the surface is repaired, the soil beneath will continue to cause the concrete to shift. More cracks will follow.
We Restore Concrete
Leave it to Align Foundation Repair to repair the cause of hairline cracks in concrete patio. A surface crack is often a sign of a more serious problem and may eventually lead to the concrete settling or sloping. Give us a call if you notice even a seemingly negligible crack forming.