Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are put in place before the concrete is poured. Expansion joints are used to allow the slab to move and not put stress on whatever it abuts or connects to. These joints are placed where:

  • a slab meets a building
  • a slab meets another slab
  • a pool deck meets the coping, e.g. the material which caps the pool shell wall

To construct these types of joints contractors use pliable materials such as

  • asphalt coated cork
  • foam

The material should extend the depth of the slab and extend the full width of the slab. Ideally, for expansion joints on the exterior of a structure, sealing these joint is preferable. Using a high-quality urethane caulk will help prevent precipitation/Water  from entering the joint and freezing.  Freeze-thaw cycles can cause slabs to heave or become uneven.  While some of the better caulk/sealants are rated up to 50 years,  its important to use the correct materials and amount. A professional concrete contractor like Concrete Repair Specialist will identify the type of expansion/control joint and will  make sure that correct materials are used and properly applied.

Fixing Cracks in Existing Concrete

If your existing concrete driveway, sidewalk, or patio happens to crack over time, there are several things you can do to prolong the life of the pour.

Adhesive Caulks

There are adhesive caulks available that can be applied to seal the cracks to prevent water from getting in and freezing. These caulks are available in different colors. The downside is that you will most certainly see the caulk joint.

Add Expansion Joints

If the crack happens to be straight, it can be sawed out and an expansion joint could be created at this crack. The downside is that the crack is almost never in a straight line.

Add a Layer with a Different Material

A third solution would be to install a different medium over the existing pour.  Care needs to be taken to address the crack while installing the new product over the existing concrete. The creation of either an expansion joint or a control joint would be necessary. Otherwise, the crack will permeate through the new product.

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