Concrete flooring is very common. It is often preferred in garages, driveways, and outside spaces. But these floors have their own issues. Pitting and spalling is one of them that kills the look of these floors. Apart from floors, pitting and spalling can occur in any other concrete structure.
Pitting refers to the presence of small holes on the concrete surface. These holes can run a few millimeters deep into the concrete. On the other hand, spalling is the appearance of cracks on the concrete surface.
Pitting and spalling not only make concrete weak, but it also kills the look of it. So, you must know ways to repair this issue. I will exactly teach you 4 ways you can use to easily repair your floor.
** Pitting and spalling refers to the breaking of concrete floors. It can be cured by using either of epoxy-based fillers, floor resins, floor screed, or cement screed. DIY approach can resolve this issue conveniently.**
What is Pitting and Spalling?
Pitting and spalling are strongly related. However, there are a few differences between the two as well. Let’s first know what exactly is pitting and spalling before talking the how to repair it.
All You Need to Know About Pitting
Pitting refers to the appearance of small holes on the concrete surface. These holes look like dots and can have diameter of a few millimeters. Their depth also varies from a few millimeters deep to a few centimeters deep. Pitting often spreads over wide concrete areas. It can literally spread across a structure.
Following are some of the major reasons of concrete pitting:
- Incomplete finishing of concrete
- Disproportionate mixing ratio of sand, water, and cement
- Improper use of accelerator to fast-set the concrete
- Old concrete
Here is Everything You Need to Know About Spalling
Spalling refers to the appearance of cracks and fractures on the concrete surface. These cracks can be of few inches to a few feet in length. Also, these cracks run as deep as the depth of the concrete. Unlike pitting that spreads across the structure, spalling is often localized. It is limited to an area within the concrete structure.
Following are some of the reasons of concrete spalling:
- Freeze-thaw cycles during winters
- Road salts
- Deicing fluids
Concrete absorbs moisture. When the water goes down the concrete, cold water freezes it. Freezing water expands which causes concrete cracks. Salts and deicing fluids make things worse as they allow water to travel deeper into the concrete before it freezes. Once the water freezes deep into the concrete, the damage is more.
4 Ways to Repair Pitted and Spalled Concrete
Now that we know what causes pitting and spalling and how it looks like, it is time to know what we can do to repair the damage. I will tell you four products that you can use to repair pitted and spalled concrete. You will almost need similar equipment for all these four techniques. Moreover, before the repair process, the concrete preparing phase is also similar for the four techniques.
Before the repair, the steps involved in concrete repairing phase include:
- Cleaning the concrete
- Removing all the loose or broken concrete
- Vacuum cleaning after removing loose concrete
Once you have prepared you concrete for repair, you can use any of the four methods below to fix your pitted and spalled concrete.
Using Epoxy Coatings
Epoxy coatings have sticky epoxy resins. They are available in variety of options. You can apply any of them to repair the pitted and spalled concrete.
Normally, epoxy-based products are used to repair concrete that is under heavy load. The epoxy product is also mixed with sand to make mortar. This mortar is then applied across the pitted and spalled concrete surface.
However, for smaller areas there is no need to use sand. You can just use epoxy-based product to fill the gaps. If you are interested in testing this option out, here is where you can get good epoxy resins.
By Floor Resins
These are non-epoxy-based resins. They are generally used for concrete structures that are not under massive and repetitive load. They often serve domestic needs. Floor resins are widely used for coating the cracks and pits of garage floors.
One of the most important features of floor resins is that they set very quickly. It only takes them two hours to set to their maximum load capacity. They are ideal for usage to fix small cracks and pits. Moreover, they are also ideal for smoothening the concrete. If you are interested in testing this option out, here is where you can get good non-epoxy floor resins.
Through Floor Screed
Floor screeds are often used to cover the pitted concrete floors. The dried mixture is first mixed with water. The resultant mix is then applied on pitted concrete surface.
After applying the screed mix, the floor is then levelled by taking the help any available leveler. Floor screed are generally used to cover pits and spalls of indoor concrete. This method is not suitable for repairing heavy-loaded concrete structures.
Via Cement Screed
Unlike floor screed, cement screed is used for outdoor concrete structures. They support repair of surfaces that are exposed to heavy loads. Cement screed also comes in powdered form.
This powder is then mixed with water before it is applied on pitted and spalled surface. Once applied, it is levelled using a leveler. On comparison with epoxy and floor resins, this method is cheaper but not durable.
Pitted and spalled concrete not only looks ugly, but it is also a safety concern. One must always fix it before it is too late. There are a few options that you can use to fix your old concrete. Depending on whether you want to repair outdoor or indoor concrete structure, you can select from a wide variety of options.
Whatever method is that you choose, it is highly recommended that you use sealers to protect any further concrete damage. If you want to know more about concrete sealing, check this out:
Concrete sealers give life and shine to your floor. But have you ever got confused in picking one for your floor? If you did, I will help you in knowing the differences between concrete sealer variants.