Why Does Concrete Crack? Here’s What to Do Next

When handled correctly, poured concrete will last for decades. And that’s exactly what you should expect from a concrete contractor. Because if your home’s walkways or outdoor living area is having problems with cracks, you might be facing some expensive repair costs. Getting the right team at the start makes a big difference.

 

Concrete Cracks and Hardening

There are a handful of ways that contractors can mess up concrete. Making sure your crew knows how to avoid these pitfalls will help give you a great final result. Concrete is pretty complex without enough experience. You have to follow specific steps and work carefully in order to prevent cracks for both the short-term and the long-term.

Taking the time to properly prep the sub-grade will give your concrete the right amount of support. Then, as the concrete settles, your contractors will need to make sure the hardening process hits all the necessary checkpoints. There are different types of cracks that can happen before and after your concrete structure hardens. Water content is one major concern. Another relates to the structural design of the concrete slabs themselves.

Depending on the time of year, temperature will also play a role. A professional concrete contractor shouldn’t have any problem pouring concrete in winter. But it does take a little know-how. They’ll need to keep an eye on risks for premature freezing and the potential for frost damage before the concrete starts to harden.

 

Proper Control Joints for Concrete

Lots of concrete cracks are the result of poor planning. No one should blame all of the problems on the weather. Knowing how to position control joints is critical if your concrete project is going to stand the test of time.

A control joint is a technique that works to direct concrete cracks to specific areas. Adding these shallow gaps throughout the concrete acts as a sort of insurance policy for the structure as a whole. Rather than have these splits pop up in the middle of a slab, they’ll be guided to the control joint instead. Encouraging the cracks to happen there lowers the chance of getting random splits—you just have to install the control joints in the best places.

 

Let’s Get the Job Done Right

As with any home project, pouring concrete or building an entire outdoor living area doesn’t leave much room for error. Careful work and will help ensure it holds up for years to come. That’s why you want to choose a responsible concrete contractor.

Our team at Lunar Concrete knows how to handle everything from start to finish. We can partner with you on the design process, get the foundation situated, and customize every aspect of your decorative concrete. We’re here to give you a final result that you’re proud to show off to your friends and family. While it’s not always possible to avoid concrete cracks altogether, there are definitely ways to minimize the risks. You can trust us to follow all the right steps!

Maximize Your Curb Appeal with an Entryway Upgrade

Whether you’re looking to sell or you’re planning to stay in your home for the long-haul, adding a little personality and style to your home entryway is always a smart choice. Ignore that first impression, and you could be missing out on an easy way to boost your home’s value. Curb appeal is a major asset to any home!

What Really Matters for Curb Appeal?

Every homeowner has their own preference for what makes an entryway feel inviting. But there are still some good rules of thumb to follow. Taking the time to tidy up your home’s entryway and your concrete walkways can give you some new ideas for how to elevate your curb appeal in practical ways.

For example, do you notice any cracks in your concrete? Is your entryway landing a little drab with just a basic concrete slab? Keep up with home maintenance, and you’re bound to be in a better position for increasing your home’s value year after year. Power-washing should be part of every homeowner’s routine. Cleaning off all the grime around your entryway helps your home make a better impact. Plus, it helps you assess other opportunities for improvement.

Redesign Options with Stamped Concrete

It’s important to realize that your entryway is more than just a front door. That’s why you have to look at the space from every angle. Before you replace the door or add new planters to the entryway, take a look at the concrete foundation. No matter what your home’s exterior might be, and no matter your own aesthetic, you can get a truly stunning entryway with the right concrete contractors.

Opting for stamped concrete could give you a completely fresh take on your entryway. It’s affordable, and it’s completely customizable. Rather that invest in an expensive building material, stamped concrete can work to mimic the look of stone or slate—or anything else that you want to see! You can go with a modern, geometrical pattern, and then stain the concrete to complement the rest of your home and entryway. Or you can remodel your walkways with exposed aggregate. There are plenty of possibilities. It’s just a matter of figuring out what designs you like most.

Your Concrete Contractors Are Here to Help!

Choosing decorative concrete for your outdoor living areas isn’t just about the backyard. The care you give to your entryway is just as important. Finding a design that speaks to your own sense of style can help you take even more pride in your home.

 

If you already have a plan for your entryway concrete in mind, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote. Of course, we’d also love to hear from you if you’re not quite sure of how you want to approach your entryway project. We can work with you through every step of the design process and make sure you understand all of your options going forward. Experience counts with stamped concrete, and we’re ready to give you a fantastic final result. Contact our team at Lunar Concrete today to learn more.

DIY Concrete Patio? Get Advice from the Pros!

There are plenty of DIY home projects to tackle throughout the year, and it’s always nice to have a new home upgrade to enjoy. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to complete the work on your own. If you’re deciding between a DIY concrete patio or whether to hire a contractor, this article can help. Doing a little research before you get started is always smart!

Can You DIY a Concrete Patio?

The following problems can happen whether you’re an inexperienced concrete contractor or a handy DIY-er. Know your strengths, and don’t be shy to call in the professionals when you need them. The last thing you want is to create a bigger problem down the road.

 

1. Bad Ground Prep

From concrete basement pours to your new concrete patio, starting with a good foundation is everything. You’ll want to confirm that your soil has the right composition and that it’s properly compacted. If the sub grade doesn’t fully settle until later on, then there’s a good chance that your concrete slabs will start to sink.

 

2. Frost Heave Risks

Paying attention to your soil condition is also important because your climate may affect its moisture content. Coarser material like sand and gravel helps make soils more stable, whereas having more clay means your soil will retain more water. Depending on where you live, that can be a problem as the seasons change. When the ground beneath your concrete freezes and thaws, you may end up with frost action damage. That can lead to some costly repairs!

 

3. Crooked Concrete Forms

Another place where DIY homeowners can go wrong is with constructing the forms for their concrete patio. You want your lines to be perfectly straight and any curves to be controlled when you get ready to pour your concrete.

 

4. Poor Drainage

Setting your forms at the right height will help with how your patio drains too. If the grading isn’t managed correctly, water can pool in certain sections. Or worse, the water could flow toward your house and run down into your basement or crawlspace. Proper planning helps concrete contractors avoid these problems. Those designs aren’t always easy to figure out.

 

5. Concrete Cracks

Adding control joints into your concrete slabs and the structure’s overall design will help prevent splits and cracks. Cutting these control joints may sound strange at first if you’ve never worked with concrete, but it’s a crucial part of getting a long-lasting result. When the soil inevitably begins to shift, potential concrete cracks will be more likely to show up along the control joints—not in the middle of your patio.

 

6. Missing Aesthetic Details

Lastly, your DIY concrete patio may have some trouble looking too bland or boring. Concrete is incredibly versatile when you know how to use it correctly. You can make plans for a stamped concrete patio, work with different concrete colors, or even add a unique texture.

 

Making the most of your backyard living area means embracing your personal style. Try to enhance your patio so it complements your home’s exterior and your landscaping. And if you need a hand, just call on the experts. The right local contractor can help make your design live up to all of your expectations.

 

 

Can You Pour Concrete in Winter?

Many people associate construction work with sunny days and warm weather. But in reality, you can schedule all types of projects during the winter months. Getting your concrete poured while it’s still cold outside isn’t only possible, it happens to come with a handful of benefits for your timeline.

Concrete Work During Cold Weather

There are a few key reasons why homeowners and builders might opt to pour concrete in winter. The first one is that you don’t usually have to wait long to break ground. Your local concrete company will probably be able to get out and see you sooner this time of year than those “busy” seasons. And if you can save time now, it’s worth calling to check your contractor’s availability.

Another reason to finish your concrete projects in winter is that you’ll be able to enjoy your new feature right when the sun starts to really shine. Whether it’s that new decorative concrete for your pool deck or beautiful colored concrete for your entryway, taking care of those home remodels now will help you have a hassle-free spring, summer, and fall.

Helpful Tips for Concrete Pouring

Of course, it’s still important to realize that a few additional steps are required when pouring concrete in winter. For starters, you can’t actually pour concrete directly onto frozen ground. This is where heaters, concrete blankets, or black plastics come into play. These tools help warm the ground whenever the conditions are a little too chilly. Otherwise, the thawing ground could cause the new concrete to crack later on. Experienced concrete workers will know how to track these temperature changes so the end result is exactly how you want it. Paying attention to quality upfront will help you avoid costly repairs down the road.

The other thing to watch for is the set times. Cold weather often increases the amount of time your concrete needs to cure. Moreover, you’ll have to pay close attention to the temperatures to make sure the concrete itself doesn’t freeze early on. Those early stages after pouring are critical for strengthening your concrete. But again, as long as you have a skilled team helping you out, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Get the Right Concrete Crew for the Job

We face plenty of cold-weather days here in the Midwest—and especially in Indiana—yet that doesn’t stop our team at Lunar Concrete from getting projects done right. We work year-round to get all of your concrete needs taken care of, and we’re proud to serve homeowners, home builders, and other contractors. If you’re ready to move forward, we are too!

Hiring a company to pour concrete in the middle of winter is a great way to beat the rush of a backlogged work schedule later on. While everyone else is hoping to get their concrete slabs or stamped concrete walkways installed later in the year, why not jump ahead in line and finish your project before the temperatures warm up? Our team can help. Please send us a message to learn more about our process.