When concrete is poured and settles, it doesn’t just stay solidly still in its place. Because of the temperature difference from weather and the changing of seasons, it actually expands and contracts.
That’s why you see lines on concrete. These are intentionally made not so much for aesthetics but to address the tendency of concrete to expand and contraction. These lines are called concrete expansion joints.
The concrete expansion joint is the space between concrete sections that allow for expansion and contraction to happen. Without them, these concrete blocks would push each other revealing unsightly and dangerous cracks or even push walls that may be built on either side.
In order for these concrete slabs to set in their sections, formwork usually made from wood are set before concrete is poured. These wooden expansion joints allow for the concrete to expand and contract. They also act as a barrier against water, sediment, grain and rock from getting in between these joints that hinder plant growth.
However, wood deteriorates and eventually just let this debris and water to get into these joints where plants start to sprout and weaken the concrete material itself.
Another method of covering these expansion joints is the use of caulk from varying materials. Asphalt has been used as a caulking material for expansion joints. However, they also crack and wear out in time.
One effective solution is the use of rubber-like material called Trim-A-Slab that holds itself in the gap between concrete slabs. The material is guaranteed to last for 10 years, keeping water, soil and debris away preventing plants to take root.
If you have questions about Trim-A-Slab, give us a call at 832-618-3726.