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RE: Control Joints in a Mat Foundation

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Presuming that you have sufficient rebar to "control" cracking predicated on the length of the concrete pour, I would not put control joints in a mat.

In general, I think that we use too many joints in concrete. Joints cause servicability issues. Additional rebar to "control" cracks in concrete is a more desirable solution. I also like to control the concrete mix and placement operations to limit shrinkage.

Harold Sprague

From: "Bill Allen" <T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Control Joints in a Mat Foundation
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 12:28:22 -0700

I am working on a project which consists of a single story wood framed
building sitting on a mat foundation. The mat is 16" thick.

A field question has come up regarding control joints. In a typical
slab-on-grade, I specify cuts one third the slab thickness spaced no more
that 3T feet where "T" is the slab thickness in inches. These
recommendations don't make a lot of sense for a 16" "slab".

What would be a more appropriate guideline for this situation?


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers

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