Overtime, is it common for most concrete basement floors to develop cracks in the surface. Some may be tiny and unnoticeable, or they may creep inside joints. Homeowners typically see the following types of cracks in their garage or basement floors:
Cracked concrete floors
The most common reason for cracked concrete garage floors is shrinkage. This damage is a result of the concrete slab curing process. It decreases the concrete volume mass by water evaporation. This method forces the slab to develop cracks in the weakest areas. Shrinkage cracks usually fit into one of these categories:
- A jagged crack that appears to have a three-point pattern is usually caused by drying shrinkage.
- Plastic shrinkage or map cracking creates a web-like pattern on the garage floor surface. These cracks are generally very shallow.
- Parallel cracks that tend to appear in fresh concrete are called plastic settlement cracking. This type often reflects slab reinforcement locations.
- Settlement or moving cracks are the results of a structural failure, usually caused when ashift in elevation makes one side of a crack deeper than the other. These fissures will meander throughout the slab creating independent, moveable sections.
It is normal to see shrinkage cracks in varying degrees depending on the placement and makeup of the slab. A true settlement crack can cause much more serious damage and will need garage floor repair by a professional.
How to repair cracks in concrete
To repair garage floor cracks on your own, always start with either an epoxy, polyurea or polyurethane concrete crack filler that is sand-able. These products will cure, harden and become stronger than the concrete slab. They will also prevent water from penetrating the surface. Simply sand or grind them flush with the surface and finish with epoxy coating or paint.
Avoid cheap concrete crack filler
Stay away from cheaper water or latex-based cement crack fillers and garage floor repair products. Lesser quality products like these, are not sand-able, they shrink in time, pull away from the repaired area and they are not paintable. Also, avoid self-leveling sealants because they are made for use in control joints, not surfaces.
Concrete crack repair epoxy
Cement crack filler materials vary depending upon the size and depth of the damage. Other factors include surface condition,floor temperature, and the porosity level of the concrete. Quick-set epoxy crack fillers are designed to be applied immediately, or fast setting polyuria coatings. Also, there are slow setting, thickened epoxies, also known as hybrid polymers, that fill wider and deeper gaps. Setup is completed over a several hours or days.