Concrete is less likely to crack if moisture slowly evaporates, so your project will be much stronger if you spray it with water several times a day for the first week after you've poured the project. The hotter and drier the weather, the more often you have to spray new concrete. Although concrete is an excellent building material, it is susceptible to cracking. This is a fact no matter where you use concrete.
But the good news is that if you mix concrete properly, use the right mix for the job, and take precautions, you can avoid cracking. You can also add reinforcement within the concrete such as fiber, wire mesh, chemical additives, and reinforcing bars that strengthen the concrete and greatly reduce the possibility of cracking. And if a crack occurs, it can usually be repaired. If there is a significant amount of damage to the concrete, your best option at the time may be honest with yourself and admit that replacing concrete would be the best “long-term solution”.
Concrete is a very strong and durable material that is prone to cracking mainly because of the way it is manufactured. Instead, cover the concrete with an insulating plastic sheet or even straw to trap moisture and help the concrete cure at an even rate. At low temperatures, this additional water freezes, adding additional ice to the concrete as it refreezes. When concrete cracks, water can enter the joints, freeze, and then expand to enlarge the cracks.
Keep in mind that if you decide to repair the crack, the repair itself is likely to be visible, unless you cover it with an overlay. Curing must be done slowly over a long period of time for the concrete to reach its maximum strength. When constructing a concrete slab, base, or wall, a steel bar or wire mesh is placed inside the concrete before it is poured. Keep in mind that in any area subject to frost movement, patching the crack with cement is never a practical solution and will generally not last longer than the first frost cycle, causing a crack to reappear through the patch or the patch to peel off again.
To choose between pavers and a concrete slab, you'll need to consider your budget for both installation and long-term repairs. Although concrete is very strong, applying too much weight can cause the concrete to crack under pressure. These cracks are not only found on the surface of the concrete, but they can also extend into the concrete, which weakens its structural integrity. In general, cracks wider than a credit card and running through the depth of concrete are structural in nature and could be a sign of more serious problems (see Evaluating Concrete Crack Repair).
For example, when concrete pumps are involved and operators are inexperienced, they can add additional water through the line, especially if it has been held down for a long time.