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Concrete Floor Cracks...are they from Shrinkage or Settling? – Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

There are two types of concrete floor cracks, shrinkage and settlement. Shrinkage cracks are from when they pour concrete, which has water in it and the water evaporates too quickly. This happens just like it did to the mud pies you played with as a kid. You put those mud pies on the patio to dry and cracks resulted. You can tell you have shrinkage cracks if the floor cracks are discontinuous, meaning the crack meanders, tapers, and stops. Then next to it, above it, or below it, the crack will continue. They are usually fairly thin cracks.

We fix shrinkage cracks because radon, odors can come up, as well as coldness, and they are not aesthetically pleasing. We clean them out and then “weld” them together which is elastic to accommodate expansion and contraction of concrete.

Settlement cracks usually have some deflection. You can run your foot over the crack and see if one side is higher than the other, if so, this is a settlement crack. Many settlement cracks are very disconcerting. We’ve seen settlement cracks where the floor has sunk 6 inches. We can treat it though welding the concrete, but we treat big settling cracks differently. On bigger ones we raise the floor by drilling a hole and pumping a polymer resin to raise it up or pumping a concrete slurry to raise it up.

For more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.


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