December 6th 2018
Tips for Fixing a Concrete Floor
Despite concrete flooring being a generally hard-wearing and long-lasting flooring option, they can succumb to damage over time, especially if the flooring has been improperly laid.
The majority of poorly installed concrete floors stem from those practising their DIY skills. Improper concrete mixing combined with scatty layering and finishing can result in bubbling and air pockets in the concrete. Over time, these pockets will worsen and eventually crack, and these cracks will continue to expand the longer they are left unattended.
However, there are times when concrete contractors face problems laying concrete. Problems such as shrinkage, cracking and crazing although rare, can happen from time to time.
This is why our team at CFS takes time to ensure we follow all the necessary steps to ensure our concrete floor process does not encounter any problems during installation.
There are two main problems DIYs and concrete contractors face when laying concrete, these are cracking and crazing.
Arguably the most common problem people face when laying concrete is cracking. Unfortunately, regardless of how skilled your concrete contractor may be, cracking is something that can never be one hundred percent avoided.
This is because when you lay a concrete floor, the chemicals used in the laying process will naturally shrink as the concrete begins to dry. Additionally, the more water that’s used in the concrete, the more the concrete will shrink.
This is why it’s important to ensure the correct among of water and concrete mixture is applied during the mixing process. And while shrinkage may still occur occasionally, following this process can prevent concrete flooring from shrinking too much and affecting its structural integrity.
How to Fix Cracking
Unfortunately, cracking in concrete can be tough to fix, especially in small areas because the aggregate is usually too large or too small for such areas, and it can be difficult to replicate a good finish within smaller areas. It’s not a simple case of pouring more concrete mix into the cracked areas.
In some cases, you may be able to repair the concrete with an epoxy repair mortar, but it’s strongly advised you contact a concrete flooring contractor to assess the extent of your damage.
Some concrete contractors find it useful to use control joints. The joints are placed in specific areas during the concrete slab laying process to help stop the threat of cracking and generally offer a more stable and long-lasting flooring.
Unlike cracking in concrete flooring, crazing doesn’t appear as a single crack. Instead, crazing forms several interconnected cracks that rise to the surface of the concrete. Crazing cracks are generally identified by their hexagonal shapes.
Fortunately, crazing is not known to affect the structural integrity of your concrete flooring. Although, it can result in an unsightly and sloppy appearance.
Crazing is a problem that is usually associated with concrete drying too quickly, combined with poor finishing techniques. As well as this, other reasons for crazing may include:
- Low humidity
- High heat
- Direct sun exposure
- Other factors that may rapidly increase drying rates
This is why it’s so important for concrete contractors to take these circumstances into consideration, otherwise crazing is more likely to occur.
How to Fix Crazing in Concrete Flooring
Concrete contractors are able to prevent or cure the cracks soon after the final finishing stage. The most popular technique is known as ‘moist curing’, which is a spray-on monomolecular curing compound (and a popular repair product). Some contractors may opt to use drier, stiffer mixing solutions, as this has been known to reduce crazing.
Exterior slabs, however, can sometimes be cured by using a broom to finish the final stage. This can mask cracks and any minor surface blemishes.
It’s very important to assess crazing soon after the final laying stage, as the longer it’s left, the damaged concrete becomes harder to salvage.
Some contractors may use windbreakers and fogging to increase humidity. Additionally, allowing the concrete time for all the bleed water to escape will also help minimise the risk of crazing.
Need Concrete Flooring Repair?
Concrete Flooring Solutions are a nationwide concrete flooring company that specialises in a range of concrete flooring options for industrial areas. If you’re concerned about the condition of your concrete flooring, or you’d like some advice on what you can do to maintain the condition of your concrete floor, please feel free to give our friendly team a call today.
We have over 30 years’ experience in the concrete flooring industry and we’re always on-hand to offer our expert advice to current and prospective clients.