DEFECTS IN FLOOR
Concrete floors are very low maintenance flooring. They are used primarily in industrial, warehouse, and other applications where appearance is not important. Floors can be unfinished or finished, with the most common finish being an epoxy coating. Coatings are used to protect the concrete against abrasion and chemical spills, as well as to improve the appearance of the flooring. The service life of concrete flooring is generally the life of the structure. The service life of the coating applied to a concrete floor ranges from five to 20 years, depending on the application.
The most common defects found in concrete flooring include the following:
Figure 1 Example of Cracks
Cracks are the most common defect found in concrete flooring. They range from small hairline cracks that are barely visible to ones where two sections of the floor slab have completely separated and moved apart. They are caused by a number of factors including settlement of the building, insufficient or improperly located expansion joints, overloading, or defects in the concrete material itself. Any type of concrete floor crack can form an opening for water to enter the flooring, causing additional damage to the floor. Minor floor cracks that are not structural in nature should be sealed to prevent water entry. More serious concrete floor cracks must be investigated further to determine their cause and repaired as necessary.
Figure 2 Example of deterioration
Concrete floors that are exposed to heavy traffic, abuse, chemicals, and frequent wetting, can deteriorate. Small pieces of concrete can wear off or break away from the flooring, resulting in a rough surface. Once the surface is damaged, the rate of deterioration will accelerate. Rough concrete floor surfaces create tripping hazards and make it difficult to move equipment or supplies over the floor. Deteriorated concrete floors can be top coated to restore their...