Cracks in 5 month old driveway


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Old 07-28-04, 09:32 AM
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Cracks in 5 month old driveway

There are multiple fine cracks in various directions in several sections.

The driveway slopes up and then down again, with bricks between the 8 foot concrete sections. The soil has a lot of clay. There are cactus, roses and bushes along the sides of the driveway, with an avocado tree near the end that has cracks. The contractor told me the driveway would be 4 inches deep. When it was done, he said it was actually 6 inches deep, though it looked like 4 inches to me.

I think we've had one or two small earthquakes since it was built, nothing that caused any noticeable damage.

Is this normal? If not, what should I ask of the contractor?
 
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Old 07-28-04, 07:22 PM
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I would not expect a new concrete driveway to crack at all for many years. I would see about his replacing the cracked sections. The cracks won't get better on their own.
 
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Old 08-10-04, 03:51 PM
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The contract most likely has a disclaimer stating that cracks can develop. My neighbor's driveway developed spider cracks when less than year old, and he used a reputable contractor. Avocado trees are tropical and have shallow roots (especially in clay soil) and can lift slabs but it takes more time than five months, I'll bet. The most common cause of spider cracks is shrinkage from too rapid curing. I'd talk to a concrete repair specialist, there are lots of solutions. I'd also monitor the situation near the tree. If it gets worse in that area, it has to go.
 
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Old 08-10-04, 06:52 PM
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Normal

Concrete cracking is normal.

Concrete cracking over clay soil is not only normal, it is expected.

Concrete cracking over clay soil in an earthquake zone has absolutley NOTHING to do with the builder.
 
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Old 08-14-04, 08:06 PM
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...Im no expert, but have done a fair bit of concrete work in my youth, and as RAZZ mentioned, "The most common cause of spider cracks is shrinkage from too rapid curing."
"Concrete cracking is normal" ... Perhaps... but Ive seen concrete walks/driveways last for YEARS...before any cracking appears....- Expansion joints....not installed appropriately!!!!!
..."Over clay soil" - What about a 1" sand base befor the pour??.
. I would presume, that the new concrete was not cured Gradually...IE, spraying it with water and letting it cure slowly.
Ive seen newly poured concrete driveways crack in shorter periods of time, because no one bothered to keep the new concrete moist....over a 1-2 week period after being pour/floated and finished.
Just my observations...and some practicle experience.
Dont know of a solution to your problem....at this point in time - and I doubt the contrator will want to rip it all out to pour again.....YIKES..........
 
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Old 08-14-04, 09:41 PM
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Thanks for all the opinions. I called the contractor and he came over. He said the cracking can't be prevented but, if it gets worse, he'll come back and redo the affected sections.

At the time the driveway was put in, I asked about keepiing it wet. He told me, since there was a light rain, I wouldn't have to worry about that. It may have drizzled for a couple of days.

Unless I get strong evidence that the cracks are his fault, I'll just watch and see what happens.
 
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Old 08-15-04, 07:24 AM
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Oh no! It was kept wet for just a couple of days? Was it made from a "high early strength" concrete, or standard concrete (something to ask the contractor).

If made from standard concrete, driveways should be kept moist for a minimum of 1 week. It is amazing that a professional would have told you not to worry about it. Ask him about this. If he used the high-early-strength type it might be okay.

The strength in concrete comes from a slo-o-ow chemical reaction between cement and water, which takes time to develop. If you allow the water to evaporate too early, the chemistry stops before the concrete has hardened to a sufficient strength.
 
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Old 08-15-04, 09:22 AM
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When the contractor was here, he said something about not having control over the concrete, since he ordered it from somewhere else. At the time the driveway was built, he said he had to order more concrete for the end, and there is no cracking in that area.

I'll call him to ask about the curing type.
 
 

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