If you are going to put new flooring in your home, atop a concrete floor, but the floor is damaged or in need of repair? The following guide will lead the way for you to get those cracks sealed and holes filled in.
If the crack is minimal you can easily just fill it with epoxy cement. Here are easy to follow instructions for doing so.
One: Sweep the spot in question liberally before you begin working on it.
Two: You need to widen hairline cracks a bit to get an adequate fill. Here is where you will need a chisel and mallet (or small sledgehammer) so you can enlarge the space. You want to cut under the edges so you are making the spot big enough for a patch to pop out to allow for proper repair work.
Three: Sweep the enlarged crack well and then flush the crack out with water. This not only gets the debris you may have missed while sweeping but will also condition the concrete so you can apply the new patch.
Four: Now it is time to fill your crack. Mix your epoxy patching material per manufacturer instructions. Pack the mixture into the crack with a trowel edge, pushing it into any crevices and edges. Be liberal with your packing process. Wipe off any excess filling with the flat side of your trowel and allow to dry.
If you are filling a larger hole, the following directions should be followed.
One: You are going to need to break up the area you are going to work on. You can use a sledge hammer or an electric jackhammer for the job.
Two: Remove all broken up pieces. Go around the edges of the hole you have made to ensure you have gotten out all of the loose or cracked pieces.
Three: Dump new gravel into your hole.
Four: You are going to need a piece of wire mesh the size of the hole opening. Put the mesh onto the hole and put something underneath it to hold it up, like a brick or existing pieces of concrete. This step is not absolutely necessary for smaller holes but will make the job more efficient if you do not skip it.
Five: Put epoxy bond on the perimeter of the hole. The next step must be done while this bond is still tacky.
Six: While the epoxy bond is still wet, carefully pour your concrete into the hole, right on top of the wire meshing. You want to make sure you have enough concrete so added so that it is even with the existing floor plus a bit over to allow for shrinking. Be liberal in your pouring and pack it in tightly.
Seven: If you opted to use wire mesh (step four) get something to pull the wire mesh about halfway up through the wet concrete. Do not do this with your hands. You can use any tool; a rake or hoe will work wonderfully.
Eight: Have another person get on the end of a 2×4 board that you place across the hole. Each of you take an end and evenly move the board back and forth across the freshly poured concrete. You could do this step yourself but it will not come out as smoothly as if you have the even weight distribution that comes with two of you doing it, one on each end of a board.
Nine: You will have some water bleeding through after you have poured. This is normal. Once that evaporates smooth it down with a trowel.
Ten: The final step is to cure the patch. This takes about a week. All you need to do is make sure the patch stays moist. Run a damp cloth over it, or sponge mop on a regular basis or sprinkle water atop it. You must make sure it stays moist and the water does not evaporate.
Once the curing is complete, and do not skimp on this process, you are ready to lay new flooring on top of it.