Tips For Repairing Damaged Concrete Floors

Just about every home and business in Australia will have concrete somewhere, whether it’s the garage floor, a footpath or walkway, the driveway and so on. Over time the concrete suffers wear and tear from use, as well as exposure to the elements, such as the harsh summer sun and rain.

Erosion and degradation of the concrete occurs. It’s inevitable over time. But does that mean the concrete needs replacing?

If it’s severe enough, maybe, but usually it can be repaired to look like new again, if you know how and have the right tools for the job.

Let’s see what can be done.

Need to hire concrete equipment in Sydney? See Dynamic Hire

Crumbling Concrete

Often this type of damage will occur near the edges of a pathway or driveway, or even the edge of a concrete patio. As more and more people tread on the edge, over time it starts to fall apart and crumble away.

The best solution to crumbling edges is to remove the damaged section and replace it with fresh concrete.

If the damaged section is fairly extensive, then you might want to consider hiring either a concrete saw, or even a concrete chainsaw (yes they do exist). There is also another tool called a demolition hammer, which is like a specially designed jack hammer. Any of these tools will quickly and efficiently get the job done.

Once the damaged section has been cut or hammered away, you can then set about replacing it with new concrete.shutterstock_1345515695

How About Crack Repair?

Cracks in the concrete can also be fairly easily repaired so the floor surface looks as good as new. There’s really no need to put up with unsightly cracks.

Before you can do the repair, it’s best to first prepare the crack for fixing. This is achieved by using a tool known as a crack chaser. You can either use a walk behind crack chaser or a hand held one, depending on the size of the job.

What the crack chaser does is cuts and cleans out the joint or crack, preparing it for sealing or repair. Once that’s been done, coat the crack or joint with a concrete bonding agent, then fill the crack with a cement/sand mix blended with water as per the instructions on the bag.

Once dry, your cracks will no longer exist.

Severely Pitted and Damaged Concrete Surfaces

This will require a special tool that gets deep into the surface to refinish to a high standard.

There is a very cool piece of machinery known as a concrete scabbler that is perfect for this task. This device will dig deep into the surface, more so than some other pieces of concrete machinery, such as scarifying machines.shutterstock_306304967.jpg

Powered by a compressor, a small hammering piston is activated in the scabbler. Up to 6mm of concrete surface can be removed at one time. What you’ll be left with is a more even surface that can be even further refined with the use of a concrete grinding machine. Choose a mild abrasion to smooth off the concrete surface for a nice, rejuvenated finish.

How About Removing Old Coatings and Contaminants?

Let’s say you have a garage floor that used to be sealed or coated many years ago, but now looks basically very ordinary. Or, it could be bare concrete marred with oil stains from cars and other contaminants. What are the options for revitalising a floor like this so it looks nice and fresh again?

Mechanical abrasion is the answer.

What this entails is using tools purpose built for this kind of task, such as a concrete scraper, which is essentially like a wood plane, except designed to deal with concrete. Or the surface could be shotblasted to remove old coatings and debris.

If you are planning on resurfacing the concrete with a sealer or anything else, mechanical abrasion will leave the surface lightly scuffed up for easy adhesions of glues and sealers.

If you just want a nice clean plain concrete finish, consider going over the floor with a concrete grinder to smooth off the surface after it’s been prepared with mechanical abrasion.

If you are going for the appearance of a freshly laid slab of concrete, then you might also want to consider hiring yourself a scarifying machine. Scarifying attachments can be attached to a concrete grinder.

Levelling Off Slightly Uneven Concrete Floors and Joints

Some concrete floors might just be slightly uneven or lumpy in patches, or the concrete joints may not be quite level with one another. If you really want a nice flat and level surface, then you could use a concrete grinder, but what might be an even better choice is a concrete shaver.

The shaver will plane the surface of the concrete, levelling off those uneven joints, removing those slight bumps or raised areas of concrete and giving you a really flat finish.

Shavers will also remove contaminants and other substances for you. The result will be a nice flat floor that looks very much like new concrete.

Making sure a floor is nice and level is also a prerequisite to preparing the floor for a new coating if that’s the goal. And even if it isn’t, your newly resurfaced bare concrete floor will not only look great, it will be slip-free as well.

This is a great idea for resurfacing driveways and pathways around your business or home.

I Just Want a Polished Looking Concrete Floor

Well, you can have that too. If the surface has been nicely cleaned and prepared, using techniques and tools mentioned above, you can then hire yourself a burnishing machine to give the floor that nice polished appearance.

Burnishers just look like those floor polishers you see cleaners using in shopping centres. They come in a variety of sizes and will really buff up that bare concrete to a super smooth finish.

Repairing concrete floors and making them look like new again is really not that hard. You just need the right tools to get the job done.

Need to hire concrete equipment in Sydney? See Dynamic Hire

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