Concrete expansion is the natural movement of concrete caused by changes in temperature. This is why expansion joints are placed in concrete slabs to avoid cracking or damage. Without an expansion joint, water from rain or runoff can seep into the gap between the concrete and surrounding materials such as dirt or brick. This can cause the concrete to settle, sink, or heave over time. It can also create a moist environment where weeds and plants are more likely to grow. The roots of these weeds can break down the concrete over time. The best way to prevent this is by keeping your concrete expansion joints in buildings filled with a flexible, non-sag caulking that can expand and contract alongside the concrete.
Concrete can also change size with temperature changes, shrinking when it gets hot and expanding when it cools. Without an expansion joint, this could lead to concrete cracking that will affect the entire slab. But with an expansion joint, this is not a concern because the concrete has somewhere to move to without cracking the slabs around it.
An expansion joint is a small, pliable material that is inserted into the concrete before it is poured. It is often made from a cork, rubber, or plastic, and it is placed in the areas where one concrete slab meets another. The expansion joint is placed at the areas where a slab meets a wall, other concrete floor, or even grass. The expansion joint is then filled with a flexible, non-sag sealant such as Sikaflex.
Sikaflex has a high performance formula that can expand and contract along with the concrete. It is not a silicone sealant like traditional caulk, but it is much more flexible and it will not leak through gaps or cracks in the concrete. The Sikaflex sealant is also non-sag and self-leveling, making it easy to apply to the concrete.
It is important to keep your concrete expansion joints filled with Sikaflex or other flexible, non-sag caulking because it will help prevent settling and other problems. When a concrete expansion joint is left unfilled, it can result in weeds growing in the gap and water flowing into the concrete. The water will be absorbed by the concrete and it can freeze in the pores of the concrete when temperatures drop. When the concrete thaws, it can leave behind tensile stresses that exceed the concrete’s tensile strength, leading to cracking in the concrete slab. An expansion joint will prevent this because the concrete will be able to freely expand and contract within the concrete expansion joint.
A-1 Concrete Leveling is proud to provide professional concrete caulking and other concrete maintenance services. Our goal is to protect your home from cracks, weeds, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your concrete maintenance and repair needs! Our concrete experts can provide you with a free consultation and estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!