Even as the essential building block of our skyscrapers, bridges, and dams, it’s easy to forget just how much we are surrounded by concrete. Structures built out of this versatile and resilient material can last upwards of 50 years, but improper techniques and mixes can lead to defects on an otherwise successful project. Below, a Portland contractor lawyer at Cotney Construction Law will pick up where we left off in part one and continue to detail common issues with concrete. Partner with our Portland contractor lawyers to ensure that you are always protected from concrete construction defect claims.
Curling occurs when a concrete slab curves and loses its initial form. This is caused by an imbalance in moisture and temperature, too large a distance between joints, or a lack of reinforcement. Implement the following measures to avoid curling:
- Employ a longer curing period
- Avoid vapor barriers
- Employ a proper mixing procedure with chemicals to mitigate shrinkage
- Increase the thickness and lower the size of concrete panels
Crazing occurs when small cracks appear on the surface of a concrete surface. Crazing does not pose a structural threat, but it is unsightly. It is caused by the surface drying and shrinking faster than the underlying concrete. Here’s how crazing can be avoided:
- Begin curing procedures as soon as possible
- Employ evaporation retardant and fog sprays
- Eliminate concrete bleeding by adding chemicals to the mix
Cracks can occur before or after hardening, and they can pose a serious threat to structural stability. There are numerous reasons why cracking may occur, including shrinkage, settling, concrete bleeding, and particle segregation. To avoid cracking on your concrete projects, deploy the following methods:
- Remove anything in the subgrade that could increase settling
- Account for the overloads and differential movement during the design phase
- Employ concrete joints
- Mitigate shrinkage and rapid drying with proper aggregate and evaporation retardant chemicals
- Always take weather into account during the finishing and curing process.
Over the course of this two-part article, we’ve covered only a handful of the issues that can present themselves on a concrete construction project. These and many more can lead to a costly construction defect claim. In these litigious times, you can never truly be sure that you are protected unless you have an attorney on retainer. Partner with the experienced Portland contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law to ensure that you are never caught off guard by defect claims from construction projects that were completed long ago.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.