Laying concrete is a time-consuming business. Quite apart from the processes involved in mixing it and getting it to wherever it is you want to lay it, you also have to wait for the mixture to dry – We advise a minimum of 28 days to achieve the newton strength we quote. Please refer to our guide for more information on all of our concrete mixes and their strengths.
The upshot of which is that when you do it, you want to make sure you get it right, because having to start again would be several times worse. After all, you’d first have to get rid of all the concrete that hadn’t worked even before starting from scratch.
Concrete can crack
Concrete, as you’ll be aware, is a very hard substance once it’s set – which is just as well, as nearly all the jobs we ask it to do for us require it to be very strong! However, like many other substances, it can be prone to expanding and contracting with changes in temperature. And here’s where that rigidity can cause a problem, because the larger the slab of concrete, the more likely it is to be subject to expanding and contracting, then eventually you’ll start to get cracks.
What you need to do is give the concrete room to move, and this is where expansion joints come in handy.
Fitting expansion joints
Expansion joints are spaces between sections of concrete that can be created either before the concrete is poured, or cut into the concrete afterwards, although not too long after – it should ideally be within 12 hours. The space is then filled with a flexible material that will allow the concrete to move. This ability for the concrete to move a little allows you to avoid cracking and keep a perfect concrete surface with integrity intact.
At EasyMix Concrete, we have extensive experience laying all kinds of concrete and have the skills and knowledge to make sure that your concrete is laid in such a way that you can be confident that it will last for years, regardless of any extremes of weather that it might have to withstand. If you would like advice on whether your project is likely to need expansion joints, give our friendly team a call and we’ll be happy to help.