How Often Do You Need Expansion Joints in Concrete? | Kaloutas

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How Often Do You Need Expansion Joints in Concrete?

 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 for opti­mal results.

What to Know About Improv­ing Your Expan­sion Joint Con­crete Slab

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 shrink more than oth­ers, pulling and stress­ing oth­er parts of the slab. Sim­i­lar­ly, as con­crete expe­ri­ences 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. These joints iso­late dif­fer­ent parts of the slab so that the whole slab can move with­out strain­ing cer­tain parts more than others. 

In oth­er words, an expan­sion joint gives a con­crete floor some breath­ing room.

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 bit. Expan­sion joints cut through the entire width of the slab and are then filled with some sort of filler (a sealant or com­press­ible material).

Oth­er Kinds of Con­crete Joints

It’s worth men­tion­ing that expan­sion joints are just one of sev­er­al types of floor joints used to mit­i­gate or con­trol cracks in con­crete. The most com­mon type of joint – a con­trol joint (also known as a con­trac­tion joint) – is put into the floor dur­ing the cur­ing process to pre­vent ran­dom crack­ing through­out the floor as it dries. 

Iso­la­tion joints sep­a­rate a con­crete slab from anoth­er sur­face, like a struc­tur­al beam, wall, or pipe (this is because these oth­er sur­faces shift at dif­fer­ent rates than the slab itself). Cold joints are cre­at­ed to sep­a­rate a new pour of con­crete from an old­er one. 

No mat­ter the joint type, they all require prop­er instal­la­tion and main­te­nance to pro­tect your con­crete floors from crack­ing and to keep the joints func­tion­al. Read our blog, What Are Expan­sion, Con­struc­tion, and Con­trol Joints And Why Are They So Impor­tant?” for more details on dif­fer­ent types of con­crete floor joints.

How Often Do You Need Expan­sion Joints?

The num­ber of expan­sion joints required for a con­crete floor – and the dis­tance between each one – may vary for a num­ber of rea­sons, such as the length and width of your floor slabs. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, 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.

How Kaloutas Repairs Expan­sion Joints

At Kaloutas, we can repair your con­crete expan­sion and con­trol joints so that they look bet­ter than ever. Our process fol­lows the fol­low­ing steps:

  • Grind away any uneven­ness in the surface

  • Clear out any chipped coat­ings or debris

  • Use an epoxy and con­crete expan­sion joint filler to recre­ate a smooth, lev­el surface

  • Cut a new joint in the repaired con­crete floor, and fill it with a flex­i­ble joint filler

  • Once the expan­sion joint is repaired, we can also repair or replace the epoxy coat­ing on the sur­round­ing floor – at this point, the floor is safe, attrac­tive, and durable for many years to come

Con­tact Kaloutas

Floor joints are too impor­tant to be neglect­ed. If you need indus­tri­al floor­ing and joints fixed and main­tained, con­tact Kaloutas’ pro­fes­sion­al floor­ing con­trac­tors. We’d love to help you with your project, and can ensure qual­i­ty results!

Kaloutas is an ide­al ven­dor for these needs:

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 9785321414 to learn more.

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