Two weeks ago, I got called to pour some concrete for a new section of sidewalk. It wasn’t a huge deal, and I like to work with concrete. I think it’s cool.
You might’ve seen this before when dudes are setting up to put in a sidewalk. You first have to measure and set up a wooden frame to go around where you want to pour the concrete. Then you mix up the concrete and pour.
When we make sidewalks, we also put cracks in them. I’m sure you’ve noticed these cracks before. Every couple feet is a break, indent, or crack in the concrete.
Why do we put cracks in sidewalks?
Because concrete, like a lot of materials, expands and contracts when the weather changes. So no matter what you do, over time that concrete will crack and break apart on its own. Instead of having that happen destructively or in bad locations, we put a crack in the concrete, a weak point. So when the concrete expands and contracts, it will crack exactly where we want it to — in the weak spot that we made.
Ever seen a walkway without pre-made cracks? They usually are all bumpy and buckled and cracked everywhere. Not always easy to walk on because it’s not cracked and shifted in set places.
Next time you’re on a sidewalk, look into the pre-made crack, often you can see that the concrete down there has cracked — right where we wanted it to. Although some places use fancy stuff to try and cover up the sidewalk cracks we make, and if you live by sidewalks like that, well, come out to where the rest of us live and check ’em out!