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Aug 7, 2017
What can I do about concrete driveway cracking 6 weeks after it was poured?
The company that did the work does not warranty cracks, but the driveway was poured in Michigan in November, 3 months after signing contract (i.e. late!). Freezing rain and heavy snowstorm came in December. I took photos of 2 large cracks in December. Is cracking normal under these conditions? Do I have any recourse? Should I have asked them to wait until spring, since it was so late by the time they started the project? The company said it was due to water and they could do nothing about it. After I wrote a negative (but true) review regarding how late in the season they poured and how difficult it was to get the company to even acknowledge the cracks or return my calls (8 months after initial problem), the owner called to say he would sue me if I didn't take the review down.

Jacob Vierzen of R-Value Homes PRO answered:

Sep 6, 2017

The old quip about the only things certain in life are death and taxes could be added to: and concrete will crack!

Concrete cracks for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is normal and not a durability or structural problem: shrinkage. Water is necessary for concrete to cure (it does NOT dry, it is a chemical reaction called hydration), but we will add more water than is necessary for hydration just to get the concrete to flow so we can work it into the shape needed. As the concrete is curing, excess water is evaporating, and the volume of the concrete in your driveway shrinks. This causes it to pull apart from itself, and that is why you see the small cracks develop shortly after pouring. Under certain conditions they even begin the day of the pour!

Sawing control joints in the slab is an attempt to control where the cracking takes place, so it is not unsightly.

There are other reasons for cracking, but an explanation takes much more time; and from your description I think you are witnessing shrinkage cracking.

What can you do? Nothing at all. It is a normal part of a concrete slab.

Aug 14, 2017

Check the frequency and depths of the control joints/sawcuts they installed for your driveway.  They all are subject to industry standards.  A driveway that is 4" thick should have control joint/sawcut depths of 1" deep (24% of the total thickness) and not more than 12 feet apart.  Check these out and if he has installed the concrete within these limits then it is difficult to warrant random cracks that appear.  

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