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What Causes Slabs Of Concrete Sidewalk To Crack And Break Into More Pieces?

You might have noticed multiple cracks in your concrete sidewalk which can be extremely troublesome. For example, cracked sidewalks are a tripping hazard for adults and children alike. Hence, this can surely be troublesome if you have young kids and toddlers playing around on the sidewalk. In order to ensure their safety, you would have to constantly monitor them. Even then, there is no guarantee that they won’t hurt themselves due to the cracked sidewalk.

Cracked sidewalks also make it difficult to maneuver wheelchairs and trolleys. Not to mention the annoyance you have to face when tiny objects such as a key or a coin slips into one of the cracks. If it is dark outside, you are unlikely to find what are looking for.

Cracked slabs can be extremely tedious to repair. If your concrete sidewalk is cracked with gaps in between, you will require a professional to properly repair and maintain it. Search on Google using the keyword “Concrete sidewalk NYC” to find out some of the best concrete masons and contractors in your vicinity.

Many of you would be wondering why Concrete sidewalk NYC  or sidewalks crack in the first place; the answer lays in science. Here are a few reasons why a concrete sidewalk or slab would crack:


Mixed with water
As concrete is a hard substance, it has to be mixed with water for paving sidewalks. However, this is where the problem begins. When contractors add excess water into the concrete mixture, the evaporation process takes longer. Usually, a contractor would rest the pavement for 28 hours to let it dry. However, the evaporation process continues over time causing shrinkage, which ultimately leads to cracks in the sidewalk. Mixing excessive water also reduces the durability of the concrete and its ability to withstand weight – this is another common reason why the concrete on sidewalks crack.

Weather Conditions
The way concrete reacts to hot and cold weather is different on a molecular level. The molecules in concrete expand and shrink based on hot and cold conditions which can result in unwanted cracks in the sidewalk. As concrete is exposed to excessive heat, the molecules expand which results in the cracks. Similarly, during winters, the extremely cold weather causes the molecules to contract. This results in shrinkage which in turn leads to cracks in the sidewalk. Sadly, there is no way to avoid cracks in concrete sidewalk NYC as the process is entirely natural and one that cannot be controlled.

Engineers and contractors take such factors into account while paving a sidewalk using concrete. This is why the usual application method includes block formation with slight gaps in between. This method allows room for expansion and contraction depending on different weather conditions. The application method and amount of water mixed with the concrete can help in lowering the chances of cracks, but there is no way to entirely avoid them.


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