Why Do Garage floors Crack?
There are four main reasons why garage floors crack. The first cause is from movement of the earth. Soil movement can be from the soil and/or water under the cement floor freezing. This freezing causes the soils to expand and exert pressure against the cement floor which causes cracking. Water can erode soils from under the garage/foundation floor that causes weakness in the floor which can result in floor cracks. The second cause of garage floor cracks is from vibrations. Vibrations can be from blasting, earthquakes or as simple as heavy equipment going in front of your house. The third cause of garage floor cracks is improper preparation of the soils where the concrete was poured. The last cause of garage floor cracks is from the concrete itself. The mix itself could be improper or not strong enough.
What are signs that a garage floor crack is serious?
If the garage floor is continuing to sink or the cracks are more than ½ inch wide, these are signs of a more serious issue. If the floor crack is a tripping hazard because one side of the crack is higher than the other side by more than ¼ inch a professional should be called in to evaluate the situation.
What is the most common type of garage floor cracks?
The three most common type of garage floor cracks are spider cracks, crack at the end of the garage where the driveway meets the garage floor, and the crack/seem were the concrete wall meets the garage floor.
How are these types of cracks repaired?
Small spider and seam cracks are repaired by first properly preparing the crack, opening the crack by using a grinder if necessary, and applying a 2 part sealant that welds the crack together. This material is also used to repair concrete airport runways. If the cracks where the garage floor meets the driveway are large, the recommendation would be to cut the concrete 2-4 feet from the end of the garage floor.
Next, prepare the soils and install metal rebar into the solid concrete with epoxy. More rebar or metal cage will also be used to strengthen the area before the concrete is poured. The end of the garage floor cracks because water seeps between the driveway and garage floor, freezes, and pops the concrete. The lack of a frost wall is also a contributing factor.
Throughout New England, from Boston to Hartford to Providence, we seem homeowners and contractors try to repair concrete cracks with concrete material and these repairs fail because of the expansion and contraction of the concrete caused by freezing and weather changes.
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