Concrete flooring is incredibly durable and resilient, but it is not completely impervious to damage. If you have a problem with your concrete flooring and need to repair and resurface it or replace it, you’ll need to first know what kind of damage you’re dealing with.
Damage due to traffic or wear and tear will have different requirements than damage due to exposure to moisture or freeze/thaw cycles in the winter. If the damage is due to corrosion in the reinforcing steel rebar structure of the concrete, it’s going to need more than just resurfacing and may need to be replaced entirely.
A qualified concrete contractor will be able to accurately diagnose the source of the problem and give you options for repairing or replacing it. You can get an idea of what to expect when you call a concrete contractor by taking a close look at how the concrete flooring is damaged.
Not All Cracks Are Created Equal
You might think that cracked concrete is cracked concrete, and it just needs to be reinforced, smoothed, and resurfaced. However, the shape and placement of the cracks in your concrete flooring can tell you a lot about the damage and what you can do to fix it.
If you see random, long cracks at a diagonal across a walkway or along a patio or concrete floor, you’re most likely looking at plastic shrinkage. If too much water evaporates out while the concrete is drying, it will shrink and crack like this.
If you see shallow cracks or flaking concrete along the lines of the reinforcing rebar, you’re looking at what’s called spalling. This occurs when the rebar was not set deep enough into the concrete and has been exposed to too much moisture. This causes it to corrode, which causes the concrete to crack and flake.
Cracks can also occur if too much water was used in the concrete mix or if too much contraction or expansion occurred while it was drying due to heat, cold, or moisture. Unless there is a structural problem with your concrete flooring, most cracks can be repaired, and future cracks can be prevented with a quality concrete crack repair product and coating.
When Your Concrete Is Out of Shape
Cracks aren’t the only kind of damage to look for with concrete flooring, though. Creep occurs when concrete’s shape is changed due to constant stress. If you’ve ever seen a driveway or a floor that’s bowed where a heavy weight has been sitting on it for some time, you’ve witnessed creep. It often occurs when the ground under the concrete gives due to the weight of what’s sitting on it, and the concrete begins to sink and bend. This is a structural issue and will usually require a more involved job than simple resurfacing.
If you’ve noticed any of these issues or other problems with the concrete flooring in your home, your driveway, walkway, patio, or in your workplace, call your concrete contractor today. Concrete repairs can be simple and inexpensive, or they can be very involved, but they don’t get better by leaving them alone.