Patching a cracked concrete floor is generally a simple task, something that you can usually do in only a few hours. The minute you notice a crack, it is best to fix it; otherwise, you may end up with a cracked concrete floor that only gets worse!
Preparation for Fixing
Okay, step one: figure out what sort of crack you’ve got in your floor. Is it a hairline crack, a crack related to a water leak? These are important factors when looking to patch a cracked concrete floor. So, once you know what kind of crack you are dealing with, prepare the area for patching.
First, get a hammer, chisel, safety goggles and gloves. Always wear your goggles when whacking away at concrete. Tiny pieces of concrete will be flying everywhere; and the last thing you want is to get one in your eye.
Next, use the hammer and chisel to remove any large chunks of concrete from the crack. Keep the chisel at an angle, and hit it to clean out the crack. What you want to end up with is the inside of the hole being bigger than the outside. It is a procedure known as “keying,” and it will insure that the patch material you put in properly adheres to the concrete.
Once the keying process is done, be sure to completely clean the area; you do not want any dust, oil, grease, and/or debris around to interfere with the bonding.
Using the Right Filler
Once the crack is ready to be filled, this is where you have to know what kind of cracked concrete floor you have. You can use some sort of patch material like epoxy, vinyl or latex for a hairline crack. If a water leak is contributing to the cracking, you will need some sort of hydraulic cement. With a cracked concrete floor that is not a hairline, and water leakage is not an issue, a simple type of concrete filler is fine.
With the simple patch material, it usually comes in a tube, and you just squeeze it into the crack. For the hydraulic cement, it is a powder; merely mix it with water and trowel it into the opening.
Finally, the concrete filler also comes in a tube. Slowly press it into the crack, and then let it set for a few minutes. After that, look it over and see how it looks. Often times, it will settle, and you will have to add a bit more. You want a nice smooth finish to the floor, so use a trowel to flatten it out.
Okay, your cracked concrete floor is almost patched up, you are nearly done. So, let the fill material cure overnight. Look over your work and see if more filler is needed. It is possible, the material may settle overnight. Once you are satisfied that the patch looks good, it is really best to seal it. Concrete tends to absorb anything spilled on it; a good sealant will prevent that from happening.
Go to Home Depot or any local hardware store and get something like heavy-duty polyurethane, and be sure to get a water-based product. They are much easier to clean up, they dry fast, and their odor is much more tolerable than other products. If the concrete has a smooth finish, apply the polyurethane with a brush or roller; for a rough finish, you can use a broom. And that’s it your cracked concrete floor is repaired!