How can you tell if a concrete crack is structural?

A number of indicators help determine the severity of cracks in concrete. Concrete cracks are supposed to be severe if they are active and continuously widen, allow moisture penetration, retain dirt, or are located in a high-visibility area. Structural cracks can influence both the strength and durability of structural concrete. Structural cracks are often easy to identify.

They can take many shapes and sizes, they can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or appear as a ladder in foundation blocks. Although concrete is a very strong building material, it has its limits. Placing excessive amounts of weight on a concrete slab can cause cracking. When you hear that a concrete mix has a strength of 2000, 3000, 4000, or more than 5000 PSI, it refers to the pounds per square inch that would be needed to crush that concrete slab.

Structural cracks usually have some telltale signs. These cracks can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or appear as a ladder. There may be cracks in the foundation wall, in the beams, or in the foundation slabs. Structural cracks often extend to the upper floors of the house.

Always look for a foundation repair expert to diagnose the situation, but structural cracks are generally more than three millimeters wide. A simple way to watch for cracks is to mark the ends with a pencil and write down the date. Periodically check to see if cracks grow beyond pencil marks, which means you may have a worsening structural problem. Proper site preparation, quality mixing, and good concrete finishing practices can go a long way in minimizing the occurrence of cracks and producing a more aesthetically pleasing concrete project.

Crusting cracking generally occurs during the concrete stamping process, which is a way of adding texture or pattern to concrete surfaces. Since concrete cannot shrink around a corner, stress will cause the concrete to crack from the point of that corner.