sources of cracking in concrete
Cracking in concrete photo source : TheProvince

We all know cracking is one of the major problems in concrete and it should be considered while mix design, but for that, we have to know the sources which can cause cracking in concrete. Here is a list of sources of cracking in concrete.


Sources Of Cracking In Concrete


  • Use of low-grade materials:

One of the major sources is the use of lower quality materials which include both concrete and steel in reinforced concrete structures.

  • Shrinkage:

Shrinkage can cause cracking if not controlled during mix design and curing stage. Shrinkage can become critical in high strength concrete because of low water/cement ratio and also because of use of Mineral Admixtures.

  • Quality and Type Of Aggregate:

The quality of aggregate used in concrete determines the overall strength of concrete. If the aggregate is of poor quality it will not make a proper bond with cement.

  • Overloading of structure:

Overloading of structure especially at younger age is a common source of cracking. This can happen if formwork is removed before time or more construction load is present.

  • Mistakes at design stage in office:

If there are errors at design stage then it is obvious that problems will occur at site. concrete cracking is one of them.

  • Improper Curing:

Another major cause of concrete cracking. If curing is not done appropriately for given time span then one should expect cracking.

  • Early Formwork Removal:

If formwork is removed before concrete has achieved strength, there will be cracking.

  • Use of Congested Reinforcement in Lean Concrete:

If you use heavy reinforcement in average quality concrete then stress distribution between steel and concrete can become non-linear causing cracking.

  • Mistakes at Site or during erection:

Proper and trained labour and workmanship are necessary for any site work. Lack of it during concreting can cause cracking.




  1. I work for a home builder in Texas and it is common practice to pour a slab one day and pull formboards and frame the house the very next day. I have noticed that nearly all of the slabs end up with cracks, especially in the garages. Are we moving too fast and not giving the concrete enough time cure properly? Our engineers that come out to inspect say that cracking concrete is normal and is to be expected with the clay soil we have here. They also reassure us that the cracks are not structural and are only aesthetically unappealing. If that is the case then why are we having to make repeated trips back to replace cracked tile and bricks? They charge us $550.00 for each inspection we order to check for foundation issues but never once had a foundation been bad.

    • Small cracks will always happen cause of concrete’s shrinkage. You can avoid that using prestressed elements but for normal houses that’s not the case so nothing to worry about as long as the cracks aren’t dangerously big

    • One reason you will have cracks in your concrete slab placed on clay soil is inadequate compaction of the underlying soil. The wet concrete, when placed on the clay soil introduces water into the soil. This makes the soil to expand and as it dries up the soil contracts causing cracks to appear on the concrete. Use of wire mesh or other suitable reinforcement will help to control this cracking of the concrete.

  2. I have beginning to notice that cracking is a huge problem on my concrete driveway. I honestly don’t know what is causing it and what I should do to stop it. I bet you money that it is a combination between poor materials being used and the workers not being the most experienced at working the concrete. I plan on finding a good service that can come up and help me get my driveway back in order.

  3. I have studied the above subject it was very useful for me . So pls try to send me always this kind of subjects .
    The best regard .

  4. It’s interesting to read about some of the ways concrete can crack and what the sources of the cracking are. It makes sense that things like overloading the structure could cause cracking. I think that my situation might have what they call concrete cancer in that it’s falling apart from the inside out. Thanks for the post!

  5. I am a civil engineering student.Now I am studying second year.I want to know basics of civil topics and applications of it.I want to get knowledge of my field please help me.