This article will discuss a range of methods and products used to reduce slab movements at critical junctures to ensure that you get the most out of your new overlay or coating. Whether you’re trying to keep a concrete driveway in pristine condition or preparing a commercial substrate for a new coating, this method could save you a lot of time, hassle, and money.
When applying a new epoxy floor coating, the substrate should always be checked and treated for cracks as they are not an uncommon issue. While it is often not possible to completely “fix” a crack, epoxy crack repair products are capable of providing an excellent solution that reduces shadowing in subsequent decorative overlays or coatings. These products also assist in the issue of concrete slabs moving and cracking in the same location in the future.
Epoxy Floor Coating: Sealing Cracks Before Applying
Inspection of the substrate is a key process that must take place before any epoxy floor coating application. All damage to the concrete must be repaired and cracks sealed. Ensuring that this is done will help the correct curing of the coating and will prevent bubbling and peeling over time.
Why Concrete Floors Develop Cracks
Due to the porous nature of concrete, most concrete floors will develop cracks over time. These cracks can be so small that they go unnoticed or are hidden within the control joints.
Identifying the type and cause of the crack is an essential part of the repair process. This will help determine the approach that should be taken. There are several reasons that cracks can form in concrete from flexures and shrinkages to defective materials, such as an incorrect preparation and application of the concrete.
The two most common types of cracks are shrinkage and settlement cracks:
- Shrinkage Cracks – Dry shrinkage typically results in a jagged 3-point crack. Cracks that form a spider web-like pattern and have little depth are often caused by map-cracking (or shrinkage of plastic). Plastic settlement cracking develops discrete, parallel cracks that appear to have “torn” the surface, often appearing in fresh concrete. Typically, a correlation between the location of cracks and any reinforcements such as rebar, wire mesh, support beams, or footers can be found.
- Settlement Cracks – These types of cracks are often a result of structural failure caused by elevation changes. Regularly referred to as “moving cracks,” these cracks traverse the slab entirely, allowing the pieces to move independently of each other. Due to the composition and placement of the slabs, it is not uncommon for shrinkage cracks to occur to some extent. Settlement cracks can be severe so caution and deep examination are advised to determine if they will persist.
- Concrete slabs with cracks
- Interior residential floors that are damaged
- Retail centre floors with hairline concrete cracks
- A structurally damaged concrete exterior
- Ensure concrete surfaces are water-tight
- Patching concrete-based steps
- The service of repairing driveways
- Restoring floors with old interior concrete
- Steps and walls of an exterior building
- Substrates for residential living areas
- Repair cracks in concrete driveways and walkways
- Providing concrete floor repairs and repairing steps
- Crack filling for concrete
Epoxy or polyaspartic layers themselves should not be used to fill cracks in concrete floors. It is advised to crack-chase (or cut) the cracks that have developed after the curing or settling of the floor to remove any loose materials. Crack-chasing will create clean, bondable surfaces inside cracks. After the cracks have been vacuumed, epoxy crack filler material should be applied to each crack. It may be necessary to involve a professional contractor to perform this job and correct slab movement problems.
Depending on the specific requirements of the crack, the materials used can vary. Two-part epoxy crack fillers as well as polyurea crack fillers or quick-setting epoxy crack fillers may be used. There are also thixotropic epoxies or hybrid polymers that set slowly and can fill larger or deeper cracks.
Ultimately, concrete crack repair can be accomplished by using the right materials. Xtreme Polishing Systems Europe offers several products that adhere well to concrete and seal cracks effectively.
If you are ready to tackle your concrete and epoxy repair project, consider our wide selection of high-performance products. Whether these cracks are on garage floors, driveways, patios, plant floors, basement floors, office floors, parking decks, warehouse floors, or even concrete patios, our self-levelling and epoxy crack repair products are the perfect solution.