When cracks appear in your new concrete slab, it can be a very frustrating experience. You may have put a lot of time and money into getting the concrete slab just right, so who wants to see it get damaged? The good news is that even though cracks in your new slab are not good, there are repairs you can make.
As concrete cures over time, it shrinks. This shrinkage can create hairline cracks in the concrete that are not normally a problem because they are “inside” the slab. Many times, these types of cracks are only visible when standing on them or looking down from a ladder. However, once the cracks appear “outside” the slab, it is a big problem. These may only be visible when standing on them or looking down from a ladder if you catch them early enough. But once these cracks begin to appear outside of the slab, that is a serious issue.
In order for your new concrete to maintain its integrity, any hairline cracking should be addressed as soon as possible. Hairline cracks will grow larger with time and eventually cause problems if left unattended too long. Cracks in sidewalks caused by tree roots are not something to panic over but do need repairs.
Concrete that is cracked and sunken can be just as dangerous as a sidewalk with large cracks. If you have this type of damage to your concrete slab, it will be time to bring in a professional for repairs. If you’ve recently purchased a home or poured a new concrete slab and notice any type of cracking, call the experts for a soon! We’ll send out one of our professional technicians to take a look and give you an estimate on repair costs.
What Causes Concrete To Be Damaged
Other ways concrete can get damaged is through erosion or when objects fall onto the concrete. Holes in your concrete slab can cause water damage which will weaken its structure if left untreated long enough. Your best solution is to fill in any holes with new cement and create a smoother surface around the area that was damaged. If left untreated, the strength of your concrete slab will be compromised.
Repairing Your Concrete Slab
There are objectives that can be taken based on the damage done. To inspect the area that was damaged, it is best to remove any dirt or debris using a masonry blade. If it is not possible to remove the affected area with a masonry blade, chipping off small areas until you reach solid concrete will do. Chips or cracks smaller than 2 inches are generally not caused for worry because this size crack won’t affect its structure. Small chips and cracks less than an inch deep can be repaired by filling them in with cement grout which is available at home improvement stores. Larger cracks more than 1-inch deep will need to be filled with spackling paste; let it dry before covering it up with cement grout.
Repairing Large Areas of Damage – Concrete Grinding
If the area is severe or you are dealing with larger chips or cracks, grinding out the area thoroughly is necessary. Once all debris has been removed, use a wire brush to clean the surface of old concrete particles, which could interfere with bonding between your new concrete and old concrete. Next, smooth out any rough sections by using an electric floor scraper that can remove at least 1-inch deep of damaged areas. If needed, small sections of solid concrete can then be ground into a powder so that the new cement paste has something to do. For larger areas needing to be repaired, you may need to rent a floor grinder with diamond blades.
Now that your old concrete has been removed or ground down, you can fill in the area with new cement paste and leave it to dry. After the surface is smooth and clean, you can seal it so that water will not seep through small cracks, which could lead to more damage. For interior resurfacing projects, consider using an acrylic concrete sealer (or use polymer-modified concrete if it is not possible to use an acrylic sealer). A concrete sealer offers great protection against most stains caused by gasoline spills, mud, tire marks, and even hot oil. It also provides protection from salt damage during the winter months for exterior surfaces. When applying a concrete sealant, make sure it is applied evenly by using a polyurethane paint roller. Let the sealer to cure for at least 4 hours depending on temperature and humidity before allowing traffic back onto the concrete surface.
If you need further assistance, contact companies like Dixie Concrete Flooring Inc., which offers concrete repair services.
How To Prevent Cracks In Concrete Slabs
While no concrete slab is 100 percent crack-proof, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of developing cracks:
Make sure that your sub-base (the foundation on which your concrete will be poured) is level and stable. Leveling may require some extra work, but it is certainly worth it in the long run. After leveling, cover up the area with geotextile fabric and then fill it with gravel. Make sure that all joints between sections of concrete (and also those near building structures such as steps) are filled with joint filler – not mud! Joint filler ensures that there won’t be any spaces for water to sneak into and cause damage. If you cannot fit a full-sized piece of plywood under your concrete slab for whatever reason, fit several smaller pieces instead. In addition, you should lay down tar paper and cover it all up with a layer of gravel to ensure water cannot come near the surface.
Repairing concrete can be troublesome. Fortunately, there are several companies that offer concrete repair services, such as Dixie Concrete Flooring. When cracks appear in your new concrete slab, it can be a very frustrating experience. Before attempting any cement repair work on your own (or with help from anyone else), ensure that all safety points have been taken and you understand them completely.