Concrete flooring is quite popular in residential and commercial structures because of its desirable properties such as durability, energy efficiency, resistance to dampness, ease of construction, low maintenance costs, and fire resistance.
However, tough doesn’t equal invincibility. If the garage floor isn’t prepped correctly, or if you haven’t applied a protective coating like an epoxy resin, cracks and holes can develop.
Even when the epoxy does the job correctly, it is usually a matter of time before natural activities catch up with your concrete floor. Heavy appliances and vehicles in your garage can also contribute to cracking.
Cracks and holes on the concrete slab are not welcome for two reasons. First, cracks and holes are doorways through which external elements such as radon, soil, water, termites, carpenter ants, and vermin can enter your house.
Mold, mildew, and pests should be the last things you’d want close to your furniture. The second reason is that cracks deny your garage its structural beauty. Cracks don’t help when it comes to the resale value of your property.
The good news is that you can fix cracks and holes in your concrete flooring through patching. It is quite a simple task, and you can do it yourself if you love trying out new things. The tools and materials are readily available, and cheap, too.
Table of Contents:
- I. Required Tools and Materials
- II. Preparing the Concrete Garage Floor
- III. Applying the Mortar Crack Filler
I. Required Tools and Materials
You will need:
- a) Eye goggles
- b) Work gloves
- c) Dust mask
- d) Knee pad
- e) Concrete or mortar chisel
- f) Hammer
- g) Wire brush
- h) Shop vacuum
- i) Steel trowel
- j) Liquid concrete bonding adhesive
- k) Concrete patch compound or repair mortar
- l) Bucket
- m) Wooden stirring stick
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II. Preparing the Concrete Garage Floor
1. Wear protective gear.
Working with concrete is not the most pleasant job on earth. Bits and pieces will come your way at rocket speeds and get into your eyes or cut your face. Your knees may also get bruised in the process. Wear goggles over your eyes to keep fragments from getting in. Knee pads will protect your knees from bruising.
Use a comfortable cushion or mat if knee pads are not available. A dust mask is necessary too since the process may raise dust, which is not healthy for your lungs.
2. Remove the loose pieces.
Start by removing any chunk of concrete that is obviously loose by scrubbing over the surface with the chisel. Knock the crack’s surface with a blunt object such as a screwdriver and use your hands to pick out the big chunks of concrete. Repeat this action until the firm material is reached.
3. Chisel down the sides of the crack or hole.
This step is similar to the first one, except that it extends much deeper. Use a concrete chisel and a hammer to chisel the sides of the crack or hole. You have to get rid of the edges of the crack that are not stable and dig deeper into the more solid material. Remember, the strength of the new concrete depends on the strength of the foundation concrete.
Make the edges of the hole square since repair mortar won’t stick properly on round edges. Chip away some of the good concrete, which may not be as stable as you thought, but don’t go too far.
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4. Remove loose bits of concrete.
Use your hand to pick the bigger debris out of the hole. Big pieces of loose concrete prevent the concrete adhesive from forming a good seal. Sweep the medium and smaller chunks and scoop them into a bin. This action paves the way for vacuuming.
5. Use a shop vacuum to clean out dust.
Vacuum the dust and any small chunks of concrete that your hand couldn’t pick out and the broom could not sweep. Pass the vacuum over the hole’s surfaces to ensure that all the pieces of concrete have been picked clean.
Avoid using a household vacuum cleaner, since concrete pieces could cause severe damage. If you don’t have a shop vacuum, use a fine brush instead.
6. Wash the hole or crack with water.
Dip a wire brush in water and scrub all the damaged areas. Scrubbing increases the surface area for the adhesive to work. Ensure that you scrub every side and the bottom of the hole.
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III. Applying the Mortar Crack Filler
A. Apply bonding adhesive.
Apply bonding adhesive on the surfaces of the hole or crack. Let the adhesive dry properly.
B. Mix concrete mortar materials.
Put the concrete patch material in a bucket to make the coarse aggregate. The new patch material should be similar to the existing surface in the ratio of aggregate and water to cement.
C. Apply the first layer.
Scoop the patch compound using a trowel and put it into the hole or crack. This first layer aims to spread the concrete compound as far as possible into the hole or crack. Tamping will push the material down further.
D. Apply the second layer.
Trowel more repair mortar into the hole or crack until it is the same level as the slab’s surface. Add more until it forms a mound. Run a steel trowel over the surface repeatedly or in a fan pattern to smooth it out and get rid of excess material.
E. Let it cure.
Cover the surface to shield it from excess sunlight. Let it cure for 24 hours before walking on it. Do not drive over the new patch for at least a week.
Cracked or chipped concrete is unattractive and leaves your home vulnerable to threats like moisture, radon, and pests. Luckily, it’s easy to fix with a few basic supplies and a little time. If you follow these steps, your garage floor will be as good as new.
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