Are hairline cracks in concrete normal?

When you see a crack in your concrete slab or wall, your first assumption is typically that something has been done wrong–but that’s not always the case. Actually, concrete cracks are very common, some are even inevitable.

What is considered a hairline crack in concrete?

One definition of a hairline crack is a crack that hasn’t opened up. That means there is very little room to fill it with anything but a very low-viscosity liquid. Since most hairline cracks don’t affect the structural integrity of a countertop, sealing and concealing the crack are the main goals of a repair.

What is acceptable cracking in concrete?

In our CFA Standard, we specifically call out that the maximum allowable crack for a foundation wall width is 1/8 inch because water and dampproofing can easily span that width. Exterior Slabs: Average concrete shrinks about 0.06%, so unless there are control joints, cracking is inevitable.

How do you treat hairline cracks in concrete?

You can repair hairline cracks in concrete with a grout made of Portland cement and water. Add just enough water to the cement to form a thick paste. Moisten the old concrete along the hairline crack with water for several hours before adding the grout.

Can you paint over hairline cracks in ceiling?

If ceiling cracks are numerous or recurred quickly after previous painting, using a primer under the top coat may prolong the quality of your paint job. This slightly heavier, stickier paint can provide better coverage for small cracks.

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How do I keep my concrete from cracking?

If you’re having new concrete poured consider the following ways to prevent cracking:

  1. Start with a sound subgrade. Make sure the subgrade is compacted. …
  2. Modify the concrete mix. Use a low water-to-cement ratio. …
  3. Install joints. Be active in deciding where control joints will be placed. …
  4. Properly cure the concrete.
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