If you have a garage, you will certainly face such problems as cracks. They are small holes in the concrete. They are one of the most widespread problems appeared in the garage. If they are not so big, it is possible to fix them. These cracks can be various. They can be rather thin, like a hair, and big and deep. The last problem requires professional help of top masters. If you understand, that the crack is not structural you can fix it yourself. First of all, you need to specify the tools and materials. One must be aware that cracks can be structural and non-structural. Structural damages are the most serious. They require professional help. You can try to fix them on your own. Be careful while doing it. It can cause even more damages.
The reasons for floor damages
Concrete floors often have damages. These damages can appear for different reasons. The main is the drops of temperatures. When it is hot, the concrete layer is getting wide. When it is cold, it is getting thin. Due to this change, cracks appear on the floor. No matter what concrete and elements you use, they will appear sooner or later.
It is quite normal if you see cracks on the floor. If any measures aren’t taken, they can become bigger. If the problem is not structural, it can be solved easily.
The rules to fix damages
Some defects may appear because of uneven concrete slabs. This problem is rather easy to solve. If you fix your garage, be careful. Watch the levels of slabs. They must be even. It adds safety to the whole construction. It is especially important if you plan to cover the floor. You can put on the concrete some elements. In this case, the floor must be even.
It is not a problem now to make the concrete floor even. There are lots of tools to do it. You can buy them in special shops for fixing or on the Internet. These elements are called concrete leveling compounds. With the help of these tools, the process is getting easier. You Just need to place the compound on the floor. Then watch the level. Uneven parts must be fixed to make an even cover.
Preparations for fixing
Any procedure requires many preparations. Fixing floors is not an exception. If you make it worse, the floor will be damaged again. It all depends on the material quality and neatness. There are main steps how to get the floor ready:
- Clear the ground. The area you are going to fix must be clean. You can use for it a broom, a garden hose or even a pressure washer. With brooms and hoses, everything is clear. You have to remove all the dirt from the floors. If anything is left, it can cause further damages. If you use water, wait for a little after it. If you wash the dirt away, the surface must be dry to go on fixing. A couple of hours is enough.
- When everything is ready, use a latex primer. Pour it into a paint tray. Then use a brush roller to spread it over the surface. After you spread it, it is better to leave it. The surface must dry during the night at least.
- Then check the result. If you don’t see any uneven parts, it is ok. If the unevenness is visible, some measures must be taken. If it occupies a small part, you don’t need to fix the whole slab. You can even solve the problem without a latex primer. You can put some boards on the area and fix only that part.
- Then it is time to use a leveling compound. You can pour it into a bucket. Then add water to it. Follow the proportions, as it is very important. Too much water will spoil the product. And the result will be pour. The floor won’t get firm. Then mix everything carefully. It is better to use a mixing stick. Mix it until all the lumps disappear.
- When everything is ready, you can put a coat on the surface. You can use a trowel to remove extra parts. The main feature here is speed. The mixture is getting firm rather fast. You need to spread it as quick as possible. After the work is finished, leave it for 24 hours at least. The surface must become firm.
These steps are not a must for you. It is just a recommendation on how to solve the problem. If you are not sure how to do it, apply to the professionals. They have all the necessary tools for fixing such damages.
There are several reasons why cracks appear. One of them is an expansion joint. It can be placed in the wrong way. It is possible to change the situation for the better. You need to mix sand and special substance to fill the cracks.
First of all, you can make small grooves. Do it in the area where concrete is cracked. It is possible to do with a diamond blade. These grooves are filled with polymerized concrete later.
Then all the parts of cracked concrete must be removed. Use different tools for it. Do it carefully. These small elements can hurt you while cleaning. The cleaner the surface is, the firmer it will be later.
After that, use a latex modifier. It is added into the mixture of concrete. When it is ready, you can fill the grooves with it. Don’t pour it up to the edges. You need to fill only half of the grooves. Then you need 3 days to make it firm. After that you can use resurfacer. The rest is filled with it. Finally, the result will be nice. The construction will be firm and hard.
Then you need to add the substance right into the crack. Fill it carefully up to the edges. Make the surface smooth. It will look like a professional job. Water is necessary to make the right consistency. Add it carefully not to spoil the mixture. If you don’t know how to make it right, consult professionals. You can also watch the process on YouTube. There are videos with all the steps and instructions.
A more serious approach to the problem
Even if you are not a professional builder, you can solve the problem. Cracks are unpleasant surprises for every garage owner. They usually appear in spring. Hard winters destroy the concrete surface. If the humidity was high in autumn and winter, it may cause serious damages. It can be noticeable in spring. The temperature is getting higher and the concrete cracks. You may need special tools for fixing it. A wire brush, a hammer, an angle grinder will be helpful.
The approach is based on using epoxy. It is important to clean the surface. You can apply vacuuming for this purpose. If you are not sure about what to do, consult professionals. Some cracks can be structural. And they are very serious. The usual symptoms are erosion, bulging and unevenness. The number of such cracks is extremely small. Most of the damages are possible to fix on your own.
The first steps for fixing
First of all, you need to clear all the surface. All the dirt must be removed. It is usually done with a cold chisel. The process has the name of chasing the crack. Then you should clean the crack with a vacuum cleaner. It is also possible to use a wire brush. Try to remove as much dirt as possible. Small elements left in the crack can spoil the result. These small sandy elements are called laitance. This area provides a bad connection with concrete. After the first clearance, you can repeat the procedure. It is necessary to remove the rest of the crumbly concrete. The small pieces influence badly the connection. As a result, the surface will be damaged gradually.
If the cracks are big, you can use an angle grinder. With the help of the machine, you can make the surface smooth. Except for this, it takes your time. Be careful while using a grinder. During the process, it erupts sparks and debris. They can be dangerous for people. If you want to avoid injuries, wear special equipment. Read the Instructions carefully. You can also watch videos on YouTube about this machine. If everything is clear, you can proceed with further actions.
What to fill the crack with?
If the cracks are rather small, you can use a self-mixing substance. These fillers are rather widespread. You can buy them in most shops for building. The prices for it are reasonable. It makes the process simple and cheap. You can use it with a standard caulking gun. Another advantage of it is self-mixing. At the final stage, it looks like concrete. Such fillers have lots of advantages:
- The substance is good for small cracks;
- It is water-resistant and not afraid of humidity;
- Possible to use on the various surface;
- Fills cracks and holes perfectly;
- Self-mixing. It mixes when it comes out of the tube;
- It has a nice white colour when it dries.
If the cracks are rather big, there is another way to fix them. Builders usually work with epoxy kits and polymerized concrete mixtures. One of the best mixtures is based on Rust-Oleum’s elements. It has two main elements Inside. It is usually sand and epoxy. Such fillers have a good reputation among builders. It is quite easy to use. When it dries, the surface becomes firm. It also has a light grey colour. It is also important to clear the crack before using it. Then you need to mix two elements: sand and epoxy. You can mix them on a piece of cardboard.
After that, you can begin filling the crack. Not mix too much. It can become firm before you use it. If you have lots of cracks, you can use other fillers. They have quite a good reputation. They allow fixing cracks on driveways, wood and metal.
If the cracks are too deep, first of all, fill it with sand. When you fill the crack, you can also add some sand on the top. The rest of the sand can be removed, when it cures. Fillers based on epoxy also have some advantages:
- Possible to use for big holes and cracks;
- Good resistance against water;
- It is possible to use on concrete, stone, brick and masonry;
- Fills cracks and holes perfectly;
- Has a grey colour, similar to concrete.
How to use concrete with polymers?
Some builders prefer using concrete with polymers instead of epoxy. It is another way of fixing concrete floors. It has some pros and cons. The main advantage is simplicity. You can fill the crack well using layers. It will look not worse than epoxy solutions.
It is much easier to use. You just need to mix it with water. It also gives more time to working with it. Though it is easier to use, it is not so strong. Epoxy-based fillers are stronger. The advantages of using polymerized concrete are:
- Usage with layers. You can fill one later. It will go deep inside the hole. When it gets harder, you can add another layer. Then, one by one, you can fill the crack to the end.
- It is not afraid of water. You can be sure that rain won’t spoil it.
- No matter what surface you have, you can use it. It is used for concrete, brick, masonry and stone.
- It is good for small damages on the floor.
- Easy to mix. You need only water to mix the substance.
- It has a nice grey colour. It is very close to concrete.
- You can use it both with a trowel and with a brush.
Having your own garage is nice. But sooner or later you will face the problem of cracking floors. It is a natural process. Nothing can be done about it. The only way is to fix the cracks. There are several ways how to do it. Contractors usually use different approaches to it. It all depends upon the holes and cracks. There are several important points in it. The surface must be cleaned ideally. All the small elements, like sandy and crumbly pieces, will spoil the construction. If you want your garage to be firm, remove all the dirt. Then it is time to choose the right way to fix. There are two main approaches. They are rather different. And each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t know what to choose, apply to professionals.
Some people complain about the final result. If you are not satisfied with the result, you did something wrong. The main problem people face is the colour. If you don’t like it, the only way is to paint the floor. The main feature here is the quality of the surface. Follow the recommendations to achieve better results. If something went wrong, apply to professional contractors. It will cost a bit more, but the result will be much better.