Follow These Steps if Your Concrete Floor Is Cracking
Over time, your concrete industrial flooring is bound to fracture to some degree. Just think about the various forces your floors endure on a daily basis. That said, you won’t do yourself or your floors any favors by simply leaving these cracks alone. Even minor cracks open the door to larger foundational issues, which can result in safety hazards and expensive repairs down the road. So, if your concrete floor is cracking, don’t wait to act. Instead, follow these steps.
How to Fix Cracks in Concrete Floors
1. Assess the Depth and Severity of Cracking
The way in which you respond to a cracked floor should depend on just how big and bad the cracks are in the first place. Small, surface-level fractures, though they deserve your attention, do not warrant as big a response as large, deep cracks. The less severe a crack is, the easier it is to fill and repair, which we will go over shortly. Severe cracks, on the other hand, may indicate a cause or symptom of a deeper problem, so your approach must be more holistic.
2. Identify the Underlying Issue
Indeed, if your floors feature several large cracks, you’ll want to get down the root of the problem. The main factors that lead to major fractures include pressure, impact, thermal shock (the sudden changes of extreme temperatures), failing expansion joints (or lack thereof), moisture intrusion, or some combination of these. By identifying the underlying problem, you can make the right moves that will prevent your floors from cracking in the future. For instance, if water vapor from below the floor is creating and worsening cracks, you may need to install a concrete moisture barrier underneath. Or, if your facility undergoes extreme temperatures, you may need to install a thermal shock-resistant system.
3. Clean Your Concrete Floors
After you’ve assessed your floor’s cracks and rectified any deeper issues, it’s time to fix the existing fractures. To properly do this, though, you need clean floors. All oil, dirt, debris, grease, etc. on the surface and inside the cracks themselves must be removed from the floors in order for the crack-filling compound and ensuing sealant to properly bond and cure.
4. Fill Cracks and Let Cure
Now, the filling process can begin. Different materials can be used for concrete floor crack repair, such as epoxy, mortar mix, urethane cement, and more. Epoxy or Polyurea is typically used to fill smaller, thinner, shallower cracks, while cement and mortar fillers are optimal for deeper, larger imperfections. Whichever product is used, it must be fully pressed into the crack via a putty knife or trowel in order to fill it and remove any air bubbles. The filler should then be smoothed so it is level with the surrounding floor, and then allowed to cure for the instructed amount of time.
5. Properly Seal the Floor
Once all cracks have been filled and curing is complete, it’s always a good idea to re-seal your concrete floors to protect them from further harm (i.e. spills, impact, pressure) and stains. 100% solids epoxy is a common option for sealing concrete floors, though urethane cement, polyurea coatings, and other solutions can be used as well.
6. Consider Other Protective Options for Concrete
Sealing your floors with traditional concrete floor coatings isn’t the only way to protect them from future cracking, either. For a low-maintenance, durable, and beautiful solution, consider polished concrete floors. The concrete polishing process involves grinding down the bare concrete and bonding it with a concrete densifier, resulting in a strong and glossy concrete surface.
If your floor is cracking, you might know that you should do something — but you might not know exactly what to do, or why. That’s where the flooring experts at Kaloutas come in handy. We access, repair, prepare, install, protect, and enhance all kinds of floors. To learn more about us and all that we do, contact us online or give us a call at 978−532−1414 today.