Just as in painting, installation of epoxy flooring is as much about the preparation as it is about application. Accordingly, high-quality concrete preparation requires careful attention to the repair of hairline cracks, spalling, pitting and major cracks. Besides, proper concrete crack repair enhances the final appearance of your epoxy floor.
Concrete crack repair can vary considerably from job to job. Generally speaking, the more northern the US state, the greater the potential for damage. Why? Because winter’s freeze-and-thaw can break its toll on the best laid concrete.
Minor Concrete Repairs
Small Hairline Cracks
When it comes to concrete crack repair, the old adage “size matters” certainly applies. Once the epoxy primer coat has been applied, small hairline concrete cracks (smaller than the width of dime) require a little siliconized acrylic latex caulk and quick scrape with a putty knife! (Albeit, don’t apply siliconized acrylic latex caulk direct to concrete because it doesn’t bond strongly to the concrete substrate.)
Saw Cuts and Tool Joints
Saw cuts and tool joints are intentional cuts in the concrete that provide “planes of weakness”. As concrete dries and shrinks, cracks (if any) tend to form in the saw cuts and tool joints…not randomly through the concrete slab. Like hairline cracks, saw cuts and tool joints, often seen in exterior concrete and garages, can be “repaired” with siliconized acrylic latex caulk.
Comparatively, Isolation joints are separations in the concrete that allow adjoining concrete slabs to move freely. For example, isolation joints exist where a vertical wall meets the horizontal floor. Although these joints can be “repaired” with siliconized acrylic latex caulk, they can be large and may require the addition of backer rods first.
Major Concrete Repairs
Large cracks, including cracks exceeding the width of a dime, large concrete indentations, and broken concrete edges are a very different animal. Hence, if you attempt to repair these problems with siliconized acrylic latex caulk alone, you’ll be back for re-repairs.
These issues require the preparation and application of quick-cure polyaspartic or polyurea, aggregate and solvent mixtures. For vertical damage and concrete with broken edges, a higher ratio of fine aggregate creates a “shapable” patch material.
Finally, for significant large-scale damage on a horizontal substrate, preparation and application of 3-component “cementitious” mixtures may be required. At www.garagefloorcoating.com/, we use our 3-component Zycrete PMC to repair up to ¼” depth concrete imperfections. These mixtures mitigate moisture and mask concrete damage.
Concrete Crack Repair: The Wrap
Proper concrete preparation includes concrete crack repair. This can be simple in the case of hairline cracks or complex in the case of major concrete damage. Proper repairs will determine whether your installed epoxy floor is beautiful, functional and durable…or not! Leave epoxy floor installations to the professional.
Image credit for header – https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/outdoor-projects/how-to/a3746/4293169/
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