Cracking of slabs and pavements is perhaps the most common issue in concrete construction and can be the source of owner complaints, held up payments, and even litigation. This is unfortunate when the great majority of such issues are entirely preventable. This presentation will review the most prevalent influences on cracking including those related to design, materials, environmental conditions, site preparation, and construction methods and sequences. Management of some of these influences can be accomplished through the selection of optimum materials and methods. Environmental influences may change during construction and these require constant monitoring and planned reactions. Then there are normal, inevitable cracks that must be accommodated using proper details. Examples of uncontrolled cracking in various types of projects will be reviewed with respect to causes and preferred preventative actions. The most critical influences (though sometimes elusive) can almost always be managed so as to prevent most uncontrolled cracking. Each of these will be discussed, as well as some simple tools and indicators for monitoring cracking potential. Specific preventative measures and best practices for avoiding such problem cracking will be recommended.
Table of Contents
1. Evaluate project environmental and site conditions for the severity of concrete cracking potential.
2. Identify and avoid materials, mix characteristics, and jointing layouts that may aggravate uncontrolled cracking.
3. Implement job site practices that minimize the potential for typical uncontrolled cracking.
4. Develop special finishing and curing protocols that deal with occasionally extreme cracking influences.
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