Concrete Cracking - Whats the Real Story?

Why does concrete crack?

Cracking is a normal part of the concrete setting stage. This is due to the shrinkage that occurs when excess water is lost from the concrete mixture during its curing stage (7 to 28 days post-placement depending on the mixture).

What do these cracks mean?

From an engineering perspective the cracking patterns in concrete structures provide an insight into how the structure and the concrete mixture is performing in  its intended use. The story that these cracking patterns illustrate can assist in determining whether the structure is or isn’t adequate for  its intended loading. Holcim provide a great insight into common types of cracking and how to recognise them:

How significant are these cracks?

To the un-trained eye cracking in some areas of concrete structures can seem minor, however the trained eye may class them as major, now or in the future.

How can I ‘measure’ these cracks?

As most cracks are slow moving, the best way to determine their severity is to track their movement over time. This is commonly done by making a mark and recording a date  and time. After some time has passed, re-check the same cracks and measure any difference. The following link shows this process using a crack monitor:


If you are experiencing some cracking around the house give J.C. Engineers a call and have them inspected. The cracks may be identified at the right time, saving unnecessary structure damage and thousands of dollars in repairs.

J.C. Engineers, “we provide solutions when others won’t!”.