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There are two types of concrete- concrete that has cracked, and concrete that will crack.

Cracking in concrete is inevitable, the best the contractor can do is try to control the cracking. There are two basic strategies to control cracking. One method is to provide steel reinforcement in the slab which holds random cracks tight. And the most widely used method is to place joints.

The three basic types of joints in slabs-on-ground are:                                               isolation joints

  • Isolation joints
  • Contraction joints
  • Construction joints

Isolation joints separate slabs from fixed objects such as walls and columns. Isolation joints in slabs-on-ground permit horizontal and vertical movement between the slab and any walls, columns, or footing that the slab is in contact with. Isolation joints are also called expansion joints.


To minimize random cracks, contraction joints are used to create straight-line planes of        Contraction jointsweakness in the slab. As the slab shrinks, the joints open slightly and cracks occur at the predetermined locations instead of randomly over the slab. Contraction joints can be established using jointing tools, inserting joint forming strips while the concrete is still plastic, or sawing the concrete after it has been finished.


Construction joints are placed in a slab where concrete placement stops for the day. Construction jointsTypically, doweled construction joints are used in pavements and industrial floors that carry heavy wheeled traffic. When transferring loads across the joint, the dowels help hold the two sides at the same elevation.






Women in Construction Part 11

We are continuing our series of blogs concerning women in construction. I have sent out a few questionnaires to women who are in the construction field to get their input.


Today’s Q and A focuses on a project engineer. One of our respondents is a project engineer. Here is some information on what her job entails:

  • A project engineer has the primary responsibility of producing a complete, accurate, biddable, and buildable set of plans for all the structures in a project.

Project engineers are to be knowledgeable in:

  • Civil engineering principles, practices and methods
  • Environmental regulations
  • Engineering project management methods
  • Workplace safety
  • Budgeting
  • Employee supervision and personnel management

Here is the actual questions and answers:

Did you work in the “field”- if yes how was it?

I’m a project engineer, doing interior renovation at a hospital. On a typical day, I spend half of my time in the office and the other half in the “field”. Working onsite is a blast, because I get to work with such a wide range of people on a daily basis. Interacting with subcontractors, clients and my own team definitely keeps my work week interesting.

How can we get more women to consider construction as a career?

Very few women actually know what a career in the construction industry entails. I think doing an internship would be an excellent opportunity to experience the work environment and daily demands of the industry. Internships would allow women to fully understand the skillset necessary to do well and I think several would find that they have something very special to offer.

I shared this link last week but it’s worth sharing again.  The video is from nccer’s website and is concerning women in construction.  Go to #7 on the play list.

Also, check out careers at Northern Concrete Construction -







Women in Construction – Part 1

We are going to do a series of blogs concerning women in construction. I have sent out a few questionnaires to women who are in the construction field to get their input.

Thanks to the NCCER, for helping to promote the trades and women in construction. Take a look at one of their recent videos concerning women in construction.



What advice would you give to a woman considering construction as a career?

I wouldn’t so much offer advice as I would ask her what questions she might have. It isn’t as tough of a career as some might think. It’s only tough if you make it tough.

I look forward to sharing more information on this topic next week.



Cement vs. Concrete

If you want to get on the nerves of a concrete person, call a concrete truck a cement truck, or refer to a slab of concrete as cement. Many people don’t know that there’s a difference, and they use the terms interchangeably. So what is the difference between concrete and cement? Well, cement is just a part of the recipe that make up concrete. Without the other ingredients, all we would have is powder.

Here are some other basic facts about cement and concrete:

  •  Concrete is a mixture of aggregates, cement, and water
  • Through a process called hydration, the cement and water harden and bind the aggegrates
  • Concrete gains hardness and strength throughout its entire life
  • The most common type of cement is Portland cement


For more information about concrete or cement check out this website:

And visit to see what concrete services we can provide you.

Who determines your culture?

Culture plays a key role in the success of any organization.  It is the environment that surrounds you at all times, and is a reflection of organizations beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors. This idea is something that is built up over time and is formed through repeated behavior.   Now that sounds pretty but is it reality?  Your organization will create a culture on its very own if left by chance.  It might not be what you want.

If your culture isn’t what you want, paint a picture of what you would like it to be.  Get employees involved.  Then do an internal review – gut check.  If you discover gaps in your culture, begin taking steps to improve.

I enjoy reading from The Leadership Freak.  Dan has a way of getting his message across.  Check out his latest blog at

You will find out how your language, conversation, and behavior help shape your environment.

I am a foreman for Northern Concrete Construction.  Here are some expectations that we have in place to help make our projects successful.  It’s not an option and has become our culture.

  • Be prepared
  • No surprises
  • Drive out waste
  • Maintain NCC processes, policies, and procedures
  • Have a plan


There are many more operational and behavioral expectations that we have.  This sets a tone to create a great working environment and to understand why we are here – to serve our customers.  Check out our website and see our process at