We live in Northen California north of San Francisco.
Our temperatures range from the 30's at night in the winter to the 70's and
80's in the summer with occasional periods of 90's.
Our rainfall ranges from not a drop of moisture for months to constant
daily rain for months.
Our soil is pure clay with tons of shrinkage and expansion.
And we've got earth movement from the occasional tremor (earthquake-style).
Is there such a thing as a concrete patio that won't crack and split over
What's the best preparation that will minimize cracking and shifting given
the conditions described above?
No. Concrete is capable of enormously greater compressive than tensile
stress. Reinforcing steel is used for tensile strength, which will
have to cope with potentially large stresses.
It will crack, especially thin, large-area slabs. That's why tools are
used to make "parting lines" in slab, on pouring- to locate where the
cracks will be.
Properly dimensioned, supported, and drained below, problems will be
minimized. Quality of materials and workmanship are important,
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