There is no doubt that concrete materials are the most robust and durable for flooring globally. It can withstand heavy traffic and is easy to clean and maintain. Epoxy Floors go a long way to covering up cracks and divots in concrete that need to be patched.
However, no matter how strong or durable concrete is, it eventually cracks at some point. The crack may not be too big but will be visible and will affect the appearance of your floor.
Concrete cracks are minor imperfections that do not require a complete replacement of the whole concrete floor. All you need is to conduct some minor repairs, and you’re good to go.
What Causes Concrete To Crack?
Concrete cracks due to several reasons, the main one being shrinkage. However, homeowners are always concerned about concrete cracks, and many have certain misconceptions about them. But, this is just a normal thing that happens to any concrete structure.
You can only control a concrete crack, but you can not prevent it from occurring. When concrete sets and dries, it starts to shrink. This occurs when the excess water used in the mix evaporates. This creates some forces that pull the slab apart, causing it to crack.
Again, if the concrete dries rapidly, it eventually cracks. Lack of control joints will also cause cracks on a concrete floor.
What Do You Need To Patch Your Concrete Floor?
You will need some tools, equipment, and products to repair cracked concrete. This includes;
- Shop vacuum
- Mortar/concrete chisel
- Concrete bonding adhesive
- Large sponge
- Concrete patch compound
- Wire brush
- Wooden paint stirring stick
- Safety glasses
The Patching Process
Prepare the surface
Before you patch any concrete surface, you must ensure it’s clean and free from dust, debris, and dirt.
First, use a chisel and hammer to remove any loose and crumbling materials on the concrete surface while cutting and squaring the edges. At times this is referred to as ‘keying.’ It helps to widen the crack so that the patching component can bond well with the concrete surface.
Note that you need to put on gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask to protect yourself from the dust.
Clean the surface
Once you’ve removed all the loose chippings, you need to clean the surface thoroughly. For this, you will need a shop vacuum and wire brush to clean the crack.
There shouldn’t be anything on the crack that could prevent the adhesive from bonding. The cleaning should eliminate everything and anything on the surface, including all the pebbles, dirt, weed, chunks.
Use the wire brush and some water to scrub the cracked area.
Apply the bonding adhesive to the entire crack and let it dry rigorously. This helps to roughen up the surface in preparation for the patch.
Mix the concrete material
Here, you will need to be keen and to read and follow all instructions on the product you’re using.
You also need to have the right patching product for the repair of your damaged concrete floor. This will prevent the crack from resurfacing.
You need to mix the mortar properly with the right amounts of water as specified. Most products come with guidelines on how to mix the mortar correctly and in the rights amounts depending on the extent of the crack. You should be wearing your protective gear throughout the process.
Apply the patching material
Once the mix is ready, you can start applying it to the cracked concrete. You may need to apply it in layers depending on the instructions from the manufacturer.
Use a paint stirring stick to push the patching compound deep into the crack. There should be no spaces left after you apply the patching compound. When applying the first layer, don’t bring it up to the concrete floor level. The idea here is to focus on filling the inside of the crack.
Once you’re done with the first layer, give it some time before applying the second layer. The second layer should cover the crack completely and level the surface. Use a wet sponge to smoothen the patch when it’s still wet.
Let it cure
Once the application is complete, give the patch some time to dry and cure. You’re advised to cover the area, especially if it’s in direct sunlight, to prevent it from drying out too quickly.
Keep this area out of use for at least two days (the curing time may vary depending on the type of products you use and the manufacturer’s recommendations).
After curing, the surface should be hard enough to step on. Afterward, you can install a decorative coat over it. Epoxy is a great choice for this.
While this may be a DIY process, it is always good to let an expert like Floor Shields handle the job. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing, don’t complicate things; just give them a call and watch them handle everything professionally.