Most of us in our lifetimes has faced the problem of a cracked floor. There are numerous reasons as to why a concrete floor cracks. This can range from
• Using excess water in the mixture used to concrete the floor,
• The concrete slab drying rapidly after it has been laid,
• The concrete used is not of the correct required strength,
• Lack of or improper control joints
• Pouring the concrete mix over frozen ground etc.
While this, in itself, is a common enough problem, the solution to the same is also quite easy. But it has to be done in a methodical manner so as to get the best results from the solution applied.
Steps involved in concrete crack fixing
The materials required for this job generally involves certain tools like the cold chisel, whisk broom and normal broom, caulking gum, trowel, hammer, concrete patch mix and a good sealer. Care must however be taken to put on safety glasses and gloves while fixing a crack in your concrete floor to ensure the safety of the DIYer.
The steps involved in the same are:
• Cleaning of the floor:The floor on which the cracks have to be fixed, needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove all oil, dirt, grease etc. This will enable the filler to bind itself to the concrete properly.
• Chisel out the large pieces: The crack also needs to be cleaned of any large pieces of concrete that might remain in it. This is best done by using a cold chisel and hammer using a process known as the “keying”. Keying too helps the patching material used to fix the crack to bind with it.
• Sweep and vacuum the floor: It is extremely essential to sweep and vacuum the cracks and its vicinity to ensure absolute and total removal of dust, dirt and debris after keying.
• Spreading the concrete patch: The concrete patch needs to be applied neatly and slowly to completely fill up the crack.
• Check to see if it has settled: The crack needs to be checked after a few minutes to see if the concrete patch has settled in. If required, additional amount of the patch can also be added at this juncture. Using a trowel, this patch needs to be smoothened out onto the crack to make it seem like one with the floor.
• Allowing it to settle down: The filler or concrete patch needs to be allowed to rest at least overnight or as per the directions of the manufacturer to enable it to “cure”. If additional filler is still required, additional patch needs to be added and again smoothened and left to cure.
• Final sealing of the patch: It is very important to seal a patched concrete since concrete has a great affinity for stains. Hence a heavy duty polyurethane, preferably water based, needs to be used and the same applied with a broom, brush or roller as the nature of the surface demands. Let the first coat dry and put in a second coat after the first has dried completely.
While two coats might seem enough for rooms which do not experience heavy traffic, other rooms which are more frequently used would need about three to four coats of the sealant. Now your cracked floor looks as good as new and is ready to use as and when required.