Years of usage, weight, weather, and all that constant tire and foot traffic take their toll on your garage floor over time, and you begin to notice cracks in it. This is sure to happen no matter how nice your garage floor was when you first installed it or how well you take care of it. Typically, the most common garage floor problems are surface cracks, spalling, and chips.
You might imagine hundreds of dollars of repairs to get a professional to repair your garage floor, but repairing your garage floor is easier than you think. You can easily do most of these repairs yourself with far less expense. Keep reading, and you will find how you can provide a lasting solution to your garage floor problems with the right tools and equipment.
First, you should know that garage floor cracks are normal. Most garage floors are made of concrete, a strong, durable, and long-lasting construction material. However, as it isn’t a ductile material (it cannot stretch or bend without breaking), temperature changes cause it to expand or contract, resulting in cracks.
Most garage floor cracks are cosmetic and don’t lead to structural issues. However, if it’s a severe crack and your garage floor is significantly uneven, it may be time to call the professionals for floor sawing. All you need is a simple fix for the more minor cracks, and you’re all set. So how do you get started?
- Clean the area around the crack
The first step is to clean out the area of the crack before you make any actual repairs or concrete cutting. Garage floors are typically known for oil and grease stains which cause dirt build-ups. Using a pressure washer to hose off the area and a concrete floor cleaning solution like Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is recommended to get rid of tough stains.
After clearing the surface area of all contaminants, the next step is to enlarge the cracks. Don’t be surprised; it gets worse before it gets better when it comes to floor repairs. You can use a tool called crack chaser, a type of saw used to enlarge cracks and make them more uniform.
Although this may feel like extra work, removing all contaminants and enlarging the crack will make the concrete filler settle nicely into the foundation instead of just staying at the surface. After all, you want a long-lasting repair.
- Fill the crack with concrete filler
Now that you have thoroughly cleared the area of contaminants, it’s time to use your concrete filler. Epoxy and polymerized concrete mix are the commonly used concrete fillers.
Slowly and carefully fill the cracks with the concrete filler. Different products will have their instructions to follow, so it is recommended to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and mixing of your concrete filler.
After filling the cracks, you’ll have to wait a few minutes for the filler to settle. However, you might need to add more to ensure a tight seal. Different concrete fillers have different curing times, so ensure you read the instructions on the product’s labeling for the appropriate dry time. However, waiting a few hours or even overnight for your filler to properly bond with the foundation is best.
Fixing pitted and spalled garage floors
Pitting and spalling can be caused by improper finishing, a bad concrete mix, or years of constant tire and foot traffic. Pitting appears as many small deep holes on the surface of the concrete. Spalling is characterized by the flaking (crumbling) of the top layer of the concrete floor.
To repair the floor, you will want to use a product that will wet into the concrete and become part of the floor instead of just sticking to it. Epoxy sand slurry or polyurea products are preferred for concrete repair as they are thin enough to flow into the pores of the floor. Apply the mix over the affected areas using a trowel, ensuring it is appropriately leveled.
- Next, apply a sealant
Once your cracks and all holes are filled, the next step is to apply a sealant. A sealant protects your newly repaired concrete floor from future cracks and oil or grease stains.
A gel-based polyurethane sealant is recommended as they can be easily rolled on and dry quickly so that you can add multiple coats for effectiveness. After applying the sealant, you can create a non-slip surface by gently pushing a broom or anything with substantial bristles across the surface to create thin grooves.
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