Why should you repair your concrete floor?
Concrete floors can be hard wearing and last for a very long time, but only if they are properly taken care of. Repairing your concrete floor ensures that they stay in great shape. Many types of damage to concrete floors, such as cracks and spalls, get worse with time. There are many factors to consider when repairing your concrete floor, such as the age of the flooring, the size and depth of the damage, and the environment that the damaged concrete is in.
How to tell if your concrete floor needs to be repaired?
There are several signs that your concrete floor may need to be repaired or replaced. Most cracks in your concrete flooring suggest that it may require some kind of repair, but not all of them. Hairline cracks without any heaving are typically results of shrinkage and are usually not a concern for repair. If these hairline cracks are in areas of stress, tension, or joint areas though, it could mean that you may need to reinforce the structural stability of the structure. If you are concerned about the nonstructural hairline cracks, such as in the middle of the floor or on flat areas, you can always employ a cosmetic repair.
Another kind of damage to a concrete floor that may suggest you need to consider repair is spalling to the concrete top. Mostly all spalling constitutes a repair though. Deep spalling or spalling in areas that support the structure warrant a look into a deeper repair and investigation into the stability of the structure. However, shallow spalling in no areas of concern only warrant a cosmetic fix if required. The main reason why spalling constitutes a repair is because it is most likely a sign of delamination due to corrosion of the reinforcement steel.
What are the most common signs of wear and tear on a concrete floor?
The most common types of damage to concrete floors are cracks, spalls, and spills. Below, we outline how to tell if these types of damage are occurring to your concrete and when they need to be repaired.
Cracks: Cracks are some of the most common types of damage to a concrete floor. Not all cracks need to be repaired to maintain the stability of structure though. Hairline cracks (cracks that are less than 1/8 of an inch wide) do not require repair unless they occur on a joint or area of structural stress. Hairline cracks are almost always cosmetic and can be repaired superficially if needed. Cracks that are larger in width do require repair though. Cracks larger than 1/8 of an inch can be the result of intense shrinkage, foundation shifting, or another issue to the concrete. These types of cracks need to be sealed or repaired to maintain the stability of the flooring and to make sure debris and moisture do not penetrate through to the concrete. Along with repairing the cracks, the cause should also be investigated to make sure than sealing the crack is not a temporary fix and that the flooring is in good health. Signs that the crack may be more than just shrinkage include heaving and uneven sections of cracked concrete. Both symptoms allude to a more serious problem with your concrete floor and must be investigated further.
Above is an example of a large crack that needs to be repaired. The crack is larger than 1/8 of an inch and could be because of structural instability.
Spalls: Spalling to your concrete is when there is breakaway occurring from the surface of the concrete. Spalling is not only a cosmetic issue but could also bring more severe damage to your flooring if left untreated. If your flooring has embedded enforcement elements, such as steel rebar, spalling could mean corroding of your reinforcement elements. Repairs to spalling concrete should always be prioritized, as if left untreated it can continue to grow and eventually cause structural damage to your flooring. It also exposes the aggregate of the flooring, which allows moisture to penetrate.
Above is an example of a spalled section of concrete that needs to be repaired as the reinforcing metal has been exposed.
Spills: Spills of all kinds can cause damage to your concrete flooring. Less intense chemical spills, such as oil and gasoline, can be cleaned regularly from your flooring. Larger spills of these types of chemicals could lead to stains which can be extracted from the concrete surface using a product like SurCoClean to maintain the appearance of your flooring. More intense chemical spills, like acids and industry chemicals, may cause your concrete to become contaminated or compromised. Spills like these typically involve a more extensive repair, including expunging the chemicals from the concrete (with SurCoClean) to make the concrete ready for repair. Then, the cracks, spalls, and other kinds of damage from the spills can be repaired.
Above is a picture of several spills on a concrete floor.
How do I prevent my concrete floor from getting damaged?
Concrete structures that experience concrete abrasion often need strengthening to protect the surface. All types of concrete structures have the need for more durable, harder, and less permeable concrete surfaces to be in place. Whether your surface deteriorates by impact and abrasion due to heavy traffic, chemical spills, environmental impact, or anything else, SurCoShield is the complete concrete surface repair agent for your structure’s protection.