There are an array of reasons why your concrete may develop cracks. One of the common types you could experience is cracking caused by plastic shrinkage, where the concrete dried up fast, which causes cracks to develop on the surface. Plastic shrinkage can occur in both cool weather and hot weather conditions. Therefore, it is essential to be familiar with the different ways of preventing the risk of plastic shrinkage to stop the cracks from developing. Below are some handy tips to avoid development of cracks that are caused by plastic shrinkage.
When the wind is blowing at high velocities, it will end up increasing the rate at which water is evaporating from your freshly poured concrete. In turn, this results in plastic shrinkage and the development of cracks in your concrete. To counter this, you should consider the erection of temporary windbreakers. These will decrease the velocity of the wind as it blows over the concreted area, reducing the chance of plastic shrinkage occurring.
Erect temporary sunshade
If you are having concrete laid in an area without shelter, you should consider erecting temporary sunshades to act as a shelter for the area. The sunshade is especially crucial if you are laying the concrete during the hotter months. Just as with gale winds, higher temperatures will promote faster drying of the concrete, which inadvertently leads to plastic shrinkage. Your sunshades can help in temperature control, thus allowing the concrete to dry at a good pace.
Consider the time of day
If you live in an area that is prone to hot weather, the time of day when you lay your concrete can directly impact its susceptibility to plastic shrinkage. You may assume that adding a sunshade may lower the temperatures, but if the ground is already hot, the fresh concrete may still end up drying faster than normal. If you are laying the concrete during the summer, consider embarking on this project during the early morning or the late evening. This will give you better control at keeping the temperatures low, rather than right in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest.
Dampen the subgrade
As aforementioned, during hot weather, the ground will inevitably be too hot. To take extra precaution against plastic shrinkage, you should consider dampening the area where you will be laying the concrete. The subgrade will absorb the extra moisture so you can rest assured this will not affect the consistency of the concrete. Moreover, the ground will be much cooler, decreasing the risk of plastic shrinkage.
If your concrete does develop cracks, contact a concrete repair company for assistance.