It can be nerve wracking when you see cracks beginning to appear in your basement concrete floor. Understanding the cause of these cracks and having a plan for fixing them can leave you feeling a little more at ease. There are many different types of cracks that can appear and the method for fixing them can vary. Being able to identify the type of basement concrete floor crack repair that will be necessary is going to be your first step to fixing the problem.
Most cracks wont begin to appear in your cement floor until 12-24 months after it is initially poured. The first type of crack you might notice is hairline cracks. These tiny cracks, though unattractive in appearance, do not pose any structural threat. The cement shrinking as it dries is the cause of hairline cracks. If any of these cracks exceed an eighth of an inch you will want to use a cement filler to prevent moisture getting in and causing further problems.
The second type of crack you may come across is from settling. If the base layer beneath the concrete has not been compacted correctly or the aggregate has not been appropriately leveled, then settling may occur. As the base layer settles the concrete sinks, creating cracks. These types of cracks do not pose a serious issue, but should be filled using a self-leveling cement to even out the flooring.
The biggest cracking concern that occurs is from heaving. Heaving is when the material beneath the concrete expands. This expansion can be from clay absorbing water or soil expanding from being frozen. As the base layer expands the concrete is heaved upwards, causing cracks in the floor. If cracks are being caused by heaving it is best to call in professionals to assess the floor and allow them to decide on the best course of action.
No matter what type of cracks you may be dealing with, it is always a good idea to seal your concrete. The best concrete floor sealer for a basement is going to be a penetrating sealer. A penetrating sealer will protect your floor against moisture seeping through without leaving a glossy finish. Even with the use of a sealer, make sure that you are monitoring your concrete floor for any sign of cracking. Taking the appropriate course of action for basement concrete floor crack repair will keep your basement flooring in top condition.