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RE: Crack next to wall control joint

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Your joint appears technically sound in general. I would offer the following suggestions: Avoid using control joints in a wall if at all possible. Consider using the ACI 350 to determine the amount of horizontal reinforcing. Consider terminating the horizontal bars with a hooked "L" bar lapped onto the horizontal bar. This requires less development length than the straight horizontal bar.

I, too, have had cracks appear adjacent to control joints. And I observed the construction of them in the field. Those problems went away when I started terminating the horizontal bars with a hook. It was not a scientific study, but it appeared to work.

Harold Sprague

From: "Mark L. Puccio" <mpuccio(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Crack next to wall control joint
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 11:51:17 -0500

For exposed concrete walls - basement, retaining etc. we typically show
control joints at 25ft or 30ft oc. Our detail shows the horizontal wall
reinforcing stopping each side of the joint, the joint is to be notched one
fourth the wall depth from each side of the wall with chamfered corners then
filled with caulk. We also show smooth greased dowel rods in the center of
the wall to try to maintain wall alignment.

Using this detail we have a project where we have a vertical crack about one
foot or so from the CJ. Our client would like an explanation. Besides the
possibility of the wall reinforcing not stopping at the joint or the
concrete just not being as smart as it should be - can any of you provide
any insight or into what might be going on? Does our detail sound like a
typical detail you use or do you have any further suggestions?


Mark L. Puccio P.E., S.E.

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