Concrete works extremely well for commercial and industrial properties because it is so strong and resistant to damage. But concrete is not entirely indestructible and there are a number of ways a concrete floor can sustain damage, whether through poor quality workmanship during installation, ongoing wear and tear, or environmental factors specific to Colorado.
Commercial concrete floors can begin to exhibit different types of damage due to a variety of problems. The sooner that you can identify signs of damage in your commercial facility, the easier and less expensive the process is likely to be.
Types of Damage You Can See on Concrete Floors
While there are many different things that can cause damage to concrete floors, most damage presents in one of a few different ways. If you identify in any of these signs, regardless of what stage they are in, it is a good reason to check with a professional to better understand what is causing the damage and what repair steps need to be taken, if any, to protect the appearance and lifespan of your commercial concrete floor:
Cracks in Concrete
Cracks are one of the most frequent types of damage in concrete. They can form in a variety of ways and look significantly different depending on the cause. Cracks can range from small hairline cracks to larger cracks in the center and around the edges of a concrete slab.
Some of the different reasons that cracks can form include:
- Mistakes During Installation – If ratios in a concrete mixture were incorrect, the caring environment was not right, or another problem occurred in installation, the floor may not have been strong enough, leading to easy cracking.
- Freezing and Thawing – With Colorado’s weather conditions, cyclic freezing and thawing is a regular occurrence throughout the winter. This means that moisture can get into a concrete floor during a thaw phase. If insulation is not sufficient, when temperatures drop, the moisture will freeze and expand, putting pressure on the concrete until it cracks.
- Uneven Surfaces – A sub base that is initially uneven or becomes unlevel over time will cause the concrete to bend and eventually crack.
- General Stress – A concrete floor that is exposed frequently to high traffic, harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaning methods, and other stressors can be at greater risk for damage and cracking is usually one of the first types of damage that will become evident.
When you notice cracking, it may not be evident what has caused it, but cracks are almost always going to get worse if not corrected. A professional concrete contractor can determine what the cause is.
Dusting occurs as a result of incomplete mixing of the concrete during installation and high traffic in the area after installation. A concrete floor with a dusting issue will have a layer of fine, whitish gray dust
that begins to develop after installation. In addition to requiring constant cleaning to remove dust, this can also indicate that there are strength problems with the concrete.
The best way to avoid dusting is to use an experienced flooring contractor that will reliably achieve the correct proportions of aggregate, water, and cement in the concrete mixture and create the ideal conditions for concrete to completely cure.
If your floor is already experiencing dusting, this can often be solved with a thorough cleaning and then by applying a sealer over the floor to trap dust moving forward.
Scaling concrete can resemble flaky patches on the floor. The cause and need for a repair can vary. Sometimes scaling is merely a cosmetic issue, but in other cases, it does represent a structural problem.
A concrete flooring professional is the best choice for determining the cause of concrete scaling at your property and which fix will keep your flooring structurally sound while also restoring any cosmetic appeal.
Corrosion in Concrete
Concrete that seems to be crumbling away may be the result of prolonged contact with water or different chemical substances. This can include harsh floor cleaners, chemicals in use in the work performed at your property that may have spilled, or, during winters in Colorado, materials like road salts that can be tracked in on shoes or the tires of vehicles and equipment.
Regular cleaning with the right methods for concrete floors will limit contact with chemicals, but repeated spills over time can still cause damage.
If you notice a distinct slope in your floors or are dealing with doors becoming stuck on elevated portions of the floor, the concrete could be unlevel as a result of an unlevel sub base. Eventually, this will lead to other problems, like cracking, if it has not already. Fixing this issue will generally require concrete leveling to flatten the floor.
Spotting damage on a concrete floor involves knowing what to look for, but also paying attention to see changes in the floor. Often, signs of damage that occur in concrete floors develop slowly over time. If you can take time during your regular cleaning and maintenance to examine your floors for any signs of changes, paying attention to high traffic areas, areas next to doors and walls, and sections of floor beneath equipment, you will be better poised to identify damage as soon as possible. Then, you can take the right steps in repairing it before damage can get worse.
Colorado Concrete Repair is a team of commercial flooring specialists with expert installation services for custom concrete floors at commercial properties in Denver, Aurora, and elsewhere in Colorado. We also offer concrete flattening and leveling services to keep floors in good repair, and we can diagnose the cause behind concrete flooring damage and implement the correct fix. Contact our team to learn more about our various concrete flooring solutions.