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How Often Do You Need Expansion Joints in Concrete?

Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2018

How Often Do You Need Expansion Joints in Concrete?

At Kaloutas, we know that interior and exterior concrete flooring is expensive. For that reason, you need to protect your investment from the most common form of damage in concrete – cracking. The most popular way to protect against random cracking is the installation of expansion joints. In this post, we’ll talk more about expansion joints and answer the question of how often you need them in your slab of concrete.

What are Expansion Joints?

As concrete dries, it shrinks and forms to the topography of the ground it was poured on. Some parts of the concrete can shrink more than others, pulling and stressing other parts of the slab. Similarly, as concrete experiences different temperature changes, it expands and contracts – sometimes more in some parts of the slab compared to others. Expansion joints are full-width cuts installed in professional concrete floors and walls that allow the concrete to expand and contract without cracking randomly. They isolate different parts of the slab so that the whole slab can move without straining certain parts more than others.

How are Expansion Joints Created?

Expansion joints are cut depending on the temperature around the concrete. In hot weather, expansion joints are usually cut with grooving tools while the concrete is still wet. In cooler weather, expansion joints can be cut with saws after the concrete has hardened a little. Expansion joints cut through the entire width of the slab and are then filled with some sort of filler.

How Often Do You Need Expansion Joints?

Usually, expansion joints should be no farther apart than 2 to 3 times (in feet) the total width of the concrete (in inches). So for a 4 inch thick concrete slab, expansion joints should be no more than 8 to 12 feet apart. They should also be placed around structures that go deeper than the concrete slab, such as columns or walls.

Contact Kaloutas

Expansion joints are too important to be installed poorly. If you need industrial flooring and expansion joints installed, contact Kaloutas’ professional flooring contractors. We’d love to help you with your project, and can ensure quality results!

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Kaloutas is New England's premier contractor for commercial & industrial painting, flooring, and related services. Established in 1987, Kaloutas has become a trusted resource for general contractors, facilities managers, and building owners from Connecticut to Maine. Our team prides itself on high quality workmanship, jobs done on time & budget, and tackling complex projects that other contractors don't have the experience or resources to handle. Contact us today for a painting or flooring estimate, or give us a call at 978-532-1414 to learn more.

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