What to Do When Your Industrial Concrete Floors Crack
Concrete floors will crack with time. Concrete floors cure and then settle, sometimes leaving a cracked slab or surface.
A crack can become worse if it isn’t treated immediately. Concrete floor cracks can be aggravated by moisture seeping through cracks, contact with oils or chemicals that can contaminate or corrode floors, poor cleaning, vehicles driving on cracked surfaces, and other routine activities.
Concrete floors can crack for many reasons. It doesn’t matter what it is; the important thing is to be prepared for when it happens.
Is it a crack or joint?
Let’s be clear: Cracks in floors and joints in floors are two distinct things. Concrete cracks can occur due to curing, aging and abuse, and sometimes unnoticed substrate issues. The joints are used to prevent cracking and isolate slab movement.
How can you fix a cracked concrete floor?
Control joints are a simple way to fix cracked concrete floors. However, they must be used only in the initial slab pour. Concrete floors crack in straight lines when control joints are used.
Other repair options include caulks or specialized fillers. Fillers and caulks have flexible and rigid properties, which allow them to expand or contract to fill in the void.
We may recommend a special filler depending on the activity that your floor is exposed to and the nature of the cracks. Specialized fillers are required for facilities that deal with corrosive chemicals and reoccurring cracking. High-traffic areas can use a filler to restore strength and smooth out the surface.
Sometimes, a deeper fix is needed to repair cracks or broken joints in concrete floors. These damages can only be repaired if they are not treated properly.
How can you not repair a cracked concrete floor?
Many people believe that epoxy coatings can be applied to concrete floors that crack.
It could be… This depends on the current crack condition and the conditions it will be subject to, as mentioned previously.
It may not suffice to just coat the crack with epoxy. Owners and contractors have tried to cover cracks to conceal or fix problems, only for the epoxy to seep through the crack and dry before it can cure.
Contrary to what you might have read online, you shouldn’t use standard over-the-counter concrete caulk to fix cracked concrete. Although specialty caulks are used in our industry, you won’t find them in “big box” stores.
It is best not to attempt to repair concrete floors on your own. For a minimum of a consultation, call a flooring professional.