One of the main reasons that concrete is so often used for building foundations and flooring is its longevity. A concrete floor can feasibly last decades, standing up to the many different types of wear and demanding environments like warehouses, auto garages, manufacturing facilities, chemical processing plants, and more.
But concrete is not completely without risk of damage. Improper initial installation, environmental conditions, and physical damage can all cause concrete slabs to develop different faults. Many of these challenges can shorten the lifespan of concrete or lead to future problems when installing a new concrete floor in your commercial facility.
These challenges make it important to work with an experienced flooring contractor to identify and fix problems that develop with concrete flooring or take all the right preparation steps before a flooring installation. This will provide flooring that will reliably last for years and extend the lifespan of existing concrete flooring that may be showing signs of damage.
Potential Challenges with Concrete Slabs
Many of the defects that often develop in concrete are simply a result of aging. Although durable, as the concrete ages it absorbs water from the surrounding environment, supports regular traffic, and experiences seasonal temperature changes, it will naturally weaken. The other leading cause of concrete damage is mistakes during the initial installation.
These factors and others can lead to problems with concrete floor slabs that include:
- Hairline Cracks – These are tiny cracks that are less than a couple of centimeters wide but can run deep beneath the surface. There are a few conditions that can cause hairline cracks and while the hairline cracks are often not a problem themselves, they indicate that there is some movement within the foundation that may require other repairs.
- Shrinkage Cracks – Shrinkage cracks most often develop during the initial installation process, but can develop at other times as well. As the concrete floor cures, excess moisture evaporates, causing the slab to contract. This pressure can cause shrinkage cracks to develop. They are not often a problem in regards to the structural integrity of a concrete slab and depending on your projects may not need repair work.
- Settlement Cracks – When laying a new slab, a professional concrete contractor will create a stable substrate base for the slab to rest on. If this base is not strong enough for different environmental changes, the ground beneath the concrete slab and floor can shift, putting too much stress on the floor and causing it to crack.
- Other Cracks – There are a variety of other cracks that could occur in concrete slabs, ranging from the size of small hairline cracks to larger cracks more than an inch across. Because of the variety of causes, it is best practice to frequently survey your floor for developing cracks and make the appropriate repair steps if any develop. In the process of installing a new concrete floor, your contractor should also repair any existing cracks since these could threaten your new floor within a matter of weeks or months after installation.
- Moisture in Concrete – Although concrete will stand up to both interior and exterior weather conditions, moisture can start to seep into concrete, especially from the ground below, and can cause a variety of damages and hazards to concrete floors that cause the slab to deteriorate or become slippery.
If one of these types of cracks or damage has developed, different concrete repair methods can address it before installing a new floor, performing other work on an existing concrete slab, or simply giving time for the crack to get worse.
When ignored, a small crack can become a much larger crack over time. A crack can also be an early indicator of a larger problem in your flooring that necessitates either repair or replacement to keep your concrete floor in good condition.
At Colorado Concrete Repair, making sure you have the right foundation is an important part of our concrete flooring process. We serve businesses in Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, and the surrounding areas, providing concrete flooring options specific to the industry and business needs.
Whether we are installing the concrete slab that will be the base for new flooring or preparing an existing concrete floor for polishing or epoxy coating, we will check for all these issues and more to be sure that each slab is in the right condition for a long-lasting and highly durable floor with the specific characteristics necessary to stand up in your work environment.
Our commercial flooring leveling and flattening can also address problems with existing concrete or epoxy flooring, or help you choose the most efficient method of replacement. If you have started to notice cracks, unlevel surfaces, or other problems with concrete flooring at your property, get commercial flooring repair from a team you can trust. Contact Colorado Concrete Repair to get started.