There’s nothing worse than noticing cracks in polished concrete floors. Whether you own a commercial space or are working from your garage at home, either fixing your vehicles, or using your garage as a workshop for woodworking, painting, or other creative pursuits, having a polished concrete floor that looks good and is in good shape is paramount, both for aesthetic reasons as well as ease-of-use and functionality.

Cracking in polished concrete floors can occur for a variety of reasons, perhaps a heavy object was accidentally dropped on the floor, causing a chip or small crack, which has expanded over the years. Or perhaps a burst pipe (that was quickly repaired) has caused moisture to seep in under your floor, causing upheaval and cracking. 

In any case, learning how to repair cracks in polished concrete floors will hopefully save you some time and money in the short term, but the best long-term solution is always to have a professional team undertake your concrete crack repair.

What Are The Factors That Could Damage Your Flooring?

Before you learn about fixing cracks in polished concrete floors, you need to know what causes them. 

Several factors can contribute to damaged flooring, some occur as a freak accident, and others can be a ‘slow creep’ type of damage. This ‘slow creep’ damage doesn’t appear to be anything serious when you first notice the crack but can wreak havoc six months down the line. Below are a few factors that contribute to cracks in polished concrete floors.

  • Concrete flooring was installed on an unlevel surface.
  • Improper spacing and placement of expansion and contraction joints when the concrete was laid.
  • Your subgrade (what is laid before the concrete is poured on top) was not laid thick enough or was not compacted properly.
  • Your concrete slab is not sufficiently thick to withstand the amount of load it is bearing.
  • Microcracks went unnoticed and expanded due to moisture absorption.  

How to Fix Cracks in Polished Concrete Floors?

Fortunately, if you’re experiencing cracks in polished concrete floors, there are a variety of methods that will fix the problem.

Polyurethane Resin for Smaller Cracks

Fixing cracks in polished concrete floors that are less than 1/8th of an inch wide can be done with either concrete sealant or polyurethane resin. Remove all of the debris from around the chipped area and then apply your concrete sealant, slightly overfilling the crack. Give this about 25 to 40 minutes to set up, then scrape off the excess leaving a clean, smooth surface.

You would use concrete sealant or polyurethane resin in a similar to wood filler when repairing a scratched timber floor. If you’ve opted for laminate flooring, you could repair scratched laminate floor with shoe polish, creating a veneer of symmetry and hiding the scratches.

Grind and Seal Options for Larger Repairs

While quick-and-dirty solutions like polyurethane resin for smaller cracks are a more economical and simple option, if it has been determined that your concrete floors are in need of a more extensive repair, then a grind-and-seal option is your best bet. This can only be a team of professionals as it involves using a diamond blade to grind away the flooring to bring it back to a level surface.

Following this, epoxy resin is applied to the entire floor area to fill in the cracks, after which it is allowed to cure for at least 36 to 48 hours, after which a second coat is generally applied and allowed to cure for a further 24 hours.

Only once these repairs have been completed can your concrete floor be re-polished and restored to its original condition.  

Ways to Protect Your Polished Concrete Floors?

There are a few ways to protect your polished concrete floors from preventable damage, not including wear-and-tear, or accidents like heavy objects being dropped onto your floor. 

Guards & Sealers

These include the use of three types of concrete sealers: penetrating and semi-penetrating guards and topical sealers. These sealers can be applied after the floors have been polished to protect your concrete from scuffs, spills and other usage elements like salt and outside debris.

Shoe Removal at the Doorway

Depending on what type of business you’re running, this may not be possible or practical, but wear-and-tear from debris from customer’s shoes can pose a serious scratch risk to a polished concrete floor. If you’re running a health-based business like massage therapy, physiotherapy, or other low-impact healthcare business whereby customers aren’t going to be on their feet a lot, it makes sense to ask them to remove their shoes at the doorway.

Polyurethane Resin Coating

Another way to protect your polished concrete floor is to apply a polyurethane epoxy resin coat over the entire floor surface before the concrete is polished.  If you aim to show off your business’s brand name and/or logo, then a decorative epoxy finish is also available. This epoxy resin coating is anti-fungal, antislip and is a sealed surface, therefore being crack-resistant. A perfect option for a garage or workshop where foot traffic will be heavy. 

Final Thoughts

As a business that’s invested a lot of money in lovely polished concrete floors, you want to ensure that they last several years before taking any drastic repair steps. By using preventative maintenance on your polished concrete floors, you’ll ensure that fixing cracks in polished concrete floors isn’t something that you have to do very often.

However, if you need concrete repair, grind-and-seal or an entire epoxy floor for your new garage or workshop, contact us today. The concrete repair and replacement experts at SWEF would gladly assist you in your epoxy flooring project.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the premiere concrete repair and replacement company in NSW, SWEF gets plenty of questions about crack repairs in polished concrete floors. Here are a few of our most popular.

Are cracks in polished concrete normal?

In short: no, not really. It stands to reason that wear-and-tear is normal and that your polished concrete will doubtlessly experience wear and tear throughout its 25+-year lifespan. However, cracks forming in polished concrete speak to a deeper problem, as a well-sealed surface should not be experiencing cracking issues. 

What is the best way to fill cracks in concrete floors?

The “best way” to fill cracks in concrete floors is typically by using a concrete sealant, or epoxy resin to fill the crack, providing it is less than an eighth of an inch wide and not particularly deep. Any deeper or wider cracks will need a more thorough process, maybe even a grind-and-seal. If you’re unsure, always call a professional team to examine your crack(s).

How do you fill holes in polished concrete floors?

Filling holes in polished concrete floors is typically done by using an epoxy resin or concrete sealant if the hole is no wider than an eighth of an inch. However, more complicated repairs will require a grind-and-seal approach, whereby the concrete is ground back to a level surface and the crack is then filled with epoxy resin, smoothed off and then re-polished.

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