Whether a concrete floor is in your garage, in your basement, on your patio, or in your home itself, it will eventually need some repair work. There are several types of damage that concrete floors can sustain, and there are many remedies for concrete that will work. One of the first things to do when you begin any repair is to gauge how deep the crack or rough area is. This can determine what type of repair is necessary.
Surface Cracks and Roughness
Some concrete floors will have shallow rough patches that need to be smoothed. In this instance, cleaning the area thoroughly and then painting the rough area and the surrounding floor.
If the rough patch is less than ¼ inch deep, this is an effective means of evening out the floors texture and smoothness. There are specific basement paints that are effective in these cases, and latex exterior paint can also be effective in this type of floor repair.
If the rough place or depression in the concrete is more than ¼ of an inch deep, patching with a mortar mix and adding a latex bonding agent to the mixture is a good method of ensuring that the patch will stick to the concrete.
Painting some of the latex bonding agent to the damaged area before applying the mortar mix is a sure way to repair concrete, and it is effective for both indoor and outdoor concrete.
Deep Cracks and Crumbling Concrete
Repairing cracks in concrete floors is vital so that the cracks do not become larger and more troublesome. Many crack repairs can be done in a few hours without professional assistance. Larger repairs are not so simple and should not be attempted by the inexperienced homeowner.
Before doing any type of concrete repair, the entire area to be repaired should be cleaned thoroughly, and any large chunks of loose concrete should be removed.
A chisel and hammer can be used to remove any loose concrete that is in a crack. Goggles should be worn whenever using a chisel, as small pieces of concrete can fly up and become hazardous.
Most home improvement stores sell tubes of concrete filler specifically for this purpose; it is effective in filling cracks in floors that are not exposed to water leaks.
The cracks should be slowly filled with the concrete filler, and then left to settle. More filler sometimes needs to be added when the first application has settled, and then a trowel can then be used to smooth out the filled area.
It should then be left to dry overnight. After the filler is thoroughly dry, a water-based polyurethane sealer should be used to keep out water and stains. This can be applied with a broom or with a hand roller. It will dry quickly, and a second coat can be applied within a few hours.
Repairs When Moisture Is Involved
When doing repair to floors that are exposed to water leaks or standing water, hydraulic cement powder should be used instead of the tube of concrete filler. It is a powder that is mixed with water and generally dries faster than the regular filler.
The mixture is usually thicker than cement filler and is applied to the cracks with a trowel. It should be allowed to settle, then reapplied and smoothed with the trowel as needed. Most of these will expand as they dry, however, so that the expected moisture will be locked out of the filled area.