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While we pay a lot of attention to the maintenance and appearance of our homes, the humble garage often takes a back seat, in spite of the fact that it actually handles a tremendous amount of traffic. Our automobiles keep going in and out of them. Kids play in them. We use them for weekend projects and to keep our tools. Therefore, it’s only natural that garage floors experience wear and tear. But does that mean we have to replace the floor? Let’s take a quick look at garage floor replacement and the reasons garage floors get damaged.
Most garages have concrete flooring and can last anywhere between three years to ten years. Factors that affect the longevity of your garage floor include the quality of the job done when the floor was laid, plumbing in and around the garage, the weather in the area you live in and a lot more.
There are four main types of damage that garage floors experience.
Cracking is recognizable by the thin, long splits that start breaking up the concrete. If you start noticing cracks in newer garage floors, it may be an indication that the concrete was too wet when poured, was a weak mix, or dried up too early.
Another major reason for cracked concrete could be your region’s freeze-thaw cycle. Concrete is porous, so it gathers moisture in the warmer months. That moisture freezes in the winter. Snowmelt also adds to the moisture in the concrete. This freezing and thawing cause the concrete to crack and rupture.
When your top layer of concrete peels or crumbles away exposing the rough aggregate below, it’s called spalling. Spalling is also mostly caused due to the region’s freeze-thaw cycle.
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If your concrete garage floor looks like it’s sagging or sinking and has puddles in those areas, it is a sure sign that you have low spots. One of the main reasons for low spots is improper drainage in and around your garage area which causes water to collect under the surface. This leads to the soil underneath your floor getting weak over time, and eventually, to low spots along with crumbling, chipping and cracking.
While spalling is at the surface, the damage caused by pitting goes a lot deeper. Pitting is easily recognizable as tiny holes on your garage floor. The major causes of pitting include age and poor installation.
Minor damage to your garage floor can be fixed with temporary measures such as an epoxy coating on your garage floor. Extensive damage, however, will require you to replace the floor. Here are the costs you’ll need to consider if you have to replace your concrete garage floor.
As with any home improvement project, laying a new floor for your garage has a process that your contractor and you will have to follow in order for your floor to last long.
While your new floor may look like it’s hard enough to drive on a couple of days it has been laid, the drying of the concrete takes quite a long time even after the floor has been cured. Experts suggest your floor will attain its full strength in around 28 days after it has been poured. Keep that in mind before you restart using your garage.
Once your garage floor has dried completely, you could use an epoxy paint as a final layer. Not only will your floor have a polished, showroom-like finish, it will also be a lot easier to clean and maintain.