If you work in the construction industry, you’ve probably heard of expansion joints. All of us appreciate that most materials expand or contract depending on the temperature variations. The contraction and expansion induce stress in structures and there is a need to mitigate it.
Designers of these structures mitigate the stresses by adding an external joint to the structure. The movement joint is can absorb the natural contractions and expansions of the structure’s material thus relieving them of extra stress.
These joints also facilitate the movement of the elements of the structure to move when the ground moves. This way, they ensure the structure remains stable all the time. Read on for more information on the proper usage of expansion joints.
1. It All Starts By Understanding The Movements Involved
The essence of expansion joint covers is to facilitate the movements within a structure. It, therefore, follows that you have to have anticipate the movements a building is likely to experience. This will assist in selecting the right kind of expansion joint to work with.
Manufacturers of the concrete expansion joints show movement in three ways. These are:
- The movement is a percentage of the joint’s width.
- In most cases, as a +/- movement
- “ As an overall movement”
Manufacturers may use any of the three ways to specify the allowable movement. It might be challenging for you to interpret what they are saying. So, seek the help of an engineer to determine the minimum and maximum dimensions at full movement.
2. Expansion Joints Will Only Be Effective When You Size Them Properly
Once you understand the movement requirements, size the expansion joints corrects to create room for the covers. It’s common for the joint sizes to increase as you go up in a multi-store building. Group some of the floors to minimize the different sizes of joints that you’ll require.
Remember that all the exterior joints running up the side of the building must always be of uniform size. From the ground floor to the rooftop.
Exterior joint size changes create unsightly transitions. It also increases the difficulty in maintaining weathering protection.
3. There’s a Need to Pay Attention to Surface Finishes
In the use of expansion joint covers, function and form have always clashed. Normally, you’d use an expansion joint filler to conceal the joint covers. But this could lead to the development of thicker joint assemblies which creates obstacles for wheeled equipment.
However, technological advancements have improved the joint cover design. It’s possible to hide wide cover plates now with a concrete joint expansion filler without compromising on form or functionality. Head over to global energy solutions for the application guide.
Choose the Right Joint
Getting the right expansion joints for your application isn’t a walk in the park. You have to put a lot of effort and thought into the selection process. Failure to do so increases the likelihood of you getting the incorrect product.
If that’s the case, you’ll have to deal with an expansion joint cover failure that’s costly to rectify. Implement the above to be on the safe side. Discover more educative articles by browsing through the website.