One size does not fit all. Diagnosing
and treating concrete cracks requires
the right combination of materials,
chemistry and expertise.
Dividing concrete cracks into structural and
non-structural groups can help determine if a
crack needs attention.
These occure particularly in support beams, columns and load-bearing
areas and affect the integrity of the building.
While not detrimental to building integrity, these may need to be addressed
due to cosmetic reasons. Take proactive steps to prevent non-structural
cracks from becoming structural cracks. Tiny fractures can also lead to
“Small cracks in below-grade foundation walls can allow water to
migrate into the structure,” said Barlow.
Hairline cracks are generally not a problem, but their severity depends on
where they are and the size of the openings in the cracks. High frequency
hairline cracks may indicate an underlying stress issue that needs to be
addressed. Your concern over the seriousness of concrete cracks should
increase proportionally with the size of the openings. As a rule of thumb,
Barlow said that cracks measuring 0.015 inches or larger should be investigated.
“The larger the width, the greater the likelihood you have lost aggregate
interlock,’ said Barlow. “But repairs can be done on cracks down to 0.005
Cracks that form in random directions are of lower priority than those in
beams, columns or other load-bearing areas.