Cracked or uneven garage floors are common in many households. Some of the reasons this happens are settlement, shrinkage, poor installation, and drainage. Fixing a garage floor crack requires you to cut both sides of the crack, chip out cracked concrete, and remove it. Fill the area and finally pour the resurface mixture onto the cut-out part.
After a while, your garage floor may start to develop cracks or sink in, causing an uneven floor. Initial installation may be flawless, but the ground under your garage may shift after some years and cause cracks or uneven floors.
You can either hire a professional for repair or fix the garage floor yourself. Depending on the damage level of the floor, you can assess it yourself against your capabilities and see what the best alternative is. Getting a professional is always better since you might aggravate the problem further while trying to DIY.
How To Fix A Cracked Garage Floor
Before you decide to fix your cracked or uneven garage floor, you must assess what caused the crack. Some cracks can be small tinny ones less than an inch wide and very short. Others can be wide and be the full length of your garage. However, most cracks will be between the two sizes.
For some cracks, especially the small ones, you can easily fill them, while others require more than a filling. Again the cause of a crack might be a one-time thing, like an earthquake or a foundational cause that requires more work to repair.
Depending on the cause and your skills, you can decide whether to call a professional or do it yourself.
Here are some of the steps you can follow to fix your garage floor;
Step 1: Clean Out The Cracked Area
First, use a metal or a normal brush to get all the debris, dirt, stones, loose pebbles, and any foreign material out of the crack. The main goal is to clean the area by removing any loose materials or stones that are cracking or crumbling.
Depending on the size and shape of your crack, you can use a crack chaser to make it straight and even. A crack chaser is a special saw blade that helps make cracks uniform. Once the crack is clean and uniform, you can now move on to the next step.
Step 2: Fill In The Crack On Your Garage Floor.
The best way to fill the crack depends on its size. For small cracks, you can use a self-mixing filler. While for large and long cracks, you will have to mix it yourself. It will take a lot of filler, and there is no self-mixing filler for large quantities.
Buy the materials and different types of fillers you will need from your local stores and hardware. Ensure the filler is waterproof to prevent water from sipping in the ground and accumulating underneath your floor. The climatic conditions of your area also determine how waterproof your filler should be. Always consult the expert or even the supplier to get the ideal one.
When filling, follow the product’s instructions that come with it, as each process might vary for different fillers.
Once done, let the filler rest. It might take some time to dry up completely, but some sunlight or UV light can speed up the process.
How To Fix An Uneven Floor
All floors are not always completely flat; some might tilt slightly, causing zero negative effects. However, sometimes the uneven floor might be too much to bear as it is too slanted on one side. An imbalanced garage floor can leave a gaping hole at the foot of your garage door; this is an inconvenience as pests might get into your home through it.
Below are the different ways you can use to fix the uneven garage floors:
1. Use Of A Levelling Compound For The Small Issues
This is a common method mainly used on small regions of interior floors. You will need a leveling compound or mortar to fix minor issues and slants. If you pour it over a large area, it will crack after it dries up.
After applying the leveling compound on an uneven region, clean it thoroughly to work well.
2. Slab Jacking With Slurry
Slab jacking with slurry is expensive but is the most common method to level out large slabs of concrete. However, it is cheaper than breaking the entire concrete floor. It utilizes the existing slab and only requires minor touch-ups when the slab jacking works. DIY might be difficult; therefore, it would be best to get professional help.
Slab jacking is done by drilling holes about three inches into the concrete floor. These holes are drilled in a sequence that will not break the slab at any point. The slurry is injected into the holes and goes under the existing concrete slab. The product comprises sand, gravel, ash, and water and can take about one day to dry up completely.
3. Slab Jacking With Polyurethane Foam
Slab jacking with polyurethane is similar to slab jacking with slurry, but it is considered a better solution. The polyurethane foam is preferred over the slurry as it is easy for technicians to predict how far it will expand.
However, the technic used in incorporating the polyurethane foam is the same as the one used to inject in the slurry. The only difference is that polyurethane needs larger holes to be drilled into the concrete. A calculated amount of foam is injected into the slanted concrete slab. After the foam has rested, a concrete patch is added onto the drilled holes to cover them.
Polyurethane foam is lighter than the slurry mixture. This reduces the load weight on the ground under the concrete floor. Even though the foam is lighter, it does not sink when applying a heavy load on the garage floor.
When Do You Need To Fix The Uneven Garage Floor
There are three critical scenarios where you will have to fix an uneven garage floor. These include;
1. Garage Floor Tilting Towards The House
In this scenario, the floor starts to sink and slant on the side nearest to your house. This slant can lead all the water collecting on your driveway into your home. Such an instance is critical and must be fixed as soon as possible.
2. Gaping Garage Door
The garage door may be slanted so that it does not completely close on the bottom edge. When the floor slants, you can notice it earlier if there is some light coming in from the bottom of the garage door. This is a sign that alerts you of the uneven floor.
3. When Critical Services Are Affected
If you keep your washers and dryers in the garage, they won’t function well if they are tilted and not on a flat surface. You will have to fix the uneven floor to use the equipment.
What Causes Garage Floors To Crack?
Garage floors may crack or become uneven over time due to various reasons highlighted below:
Naturally, a concrete floor will shrink over time. When shrinkage happens, cracks will form on the floor as it adjusts.
2. Poor Installation
A poor floor installation will leave your floor vulnerable to cracks. You will have to install reinforcements into the floor to resist all forces that might cause damage. For instance, when a floor is lightly installed over the soil with no foundation, it will crack fast before enjoying the services.
3. Poor Drainage
Water is a very powerful agent, and it can cause damage to many different materials. When the area around your garage floor is always wet, the chances of the ground beneath letting go and sinking are very high. A good drainage system can help reduce issues caused by water.
Settlement happens when the ground that your house or building is sitting on moves and shifts as time goes. When this happens, it causes great pressure on the garage floor, which results in your house tilting to one side or the other.
As a homeowner, you should take settlement cracks very seriously as they can signify bigger risks. It can absorb water and keep it under your garage floor. Waterlogged soil on the potentially unstable ground can collapse your garage and house.
An uneven or cracked garage floor can be fixed. The solution depends on how big the issue is; you can hire a professional or fix it yourself. The bottom line is; you should not ignore cracks and uneven garage floors as they can signal an impending risk that might cause a lot of damage.