Repair Cracked Concrete with Epoxy
Almost all concrete floors will crack over time. While shallow crack lines spidering across a floor may be visually unappealing, most of these are not serious. Others can be signs of potentially severe structural problems. Left untreated, even shallow concrete cracks can worsen and deepen, creating future problems.
Understanding Concrete Cracks
When a concrete floor is poured, it immediately begins to dry or cure. As it dries, it shrinks. The shrinkage may be small, about an eighth of an inch in a 20 by 20 floor, but it is enough for small crack lines to appear. These shrinkage cracks are normal.
Likewise, small cracks from structural settling are also normal. Depending on the age of the building and the soil type, settling cracks can become more severe with time.
The most severe cracks are those from improperly installed concrete. When it is installed correctly, the concrete is reinforced by steel rebar or mesh that is placed in the middle of the poured concrete. If the steel reinforcement is left out, or not sufficient, the concrete will be prone to movement and cracking.
Another cause of serious cracks is overloading the concrete before it has completely cured. Concrete can take several days to a month to fully cure. Occasionally, contractors will operate heavy equipment on concrete floors that have not completely cured. When that happens, fissures can appear in the concrete.
While many concrete cracks are superficial and more visually distracting than structurally dangerous, it can take an experienced eye to recognize the difference. It’s a good idea to have cracks checked by a concrete professional who can recommend the best treatment to prevent them from becoming worse.
Key to Repairing Concrete Floors — Use the Right Product
Fortunately, most cracking can be repaired without the need to demolish and replace the concrete. Several products can be used to repair cracks and protect concrete from future cracking. The key to repairing and protecting your concrete is to use the right product and method.
Cheap is not Best
A concrete floor is a structural component of a building. You wouldn’t use a cheap cement filler to support part of a home’s foundation, and you shouldn’t use a similar product to repair cracked concrete floors.
Although they are less expensive initially, latex-based cement fillers and patch products can cost more money in the long run in future repairs. These products tend to shrink away from the crack they were intended to repair. They also cannot be sanded or painted.
Do It Right
To do the job right, you should use the best materials, and the best materials for repairing cracked concrete are epoxy garage coatings, polyurea or polyurethane fillers. They have several advantages over the less expensive products, including:
? They dry harder than the concrete
? They do not shrink
? Epoxy is so durable that it stops water from penetrating the crack
? They are easy to sand or grind level with the floor
? They can be painted
The depth and severity of the crack will determine the best type of epoxy or polyurea for the repair. A concrete floor professional can help in determining which product will provide the best lasting solution for your cracked concrete.
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