The cracks in this garage floor have been stabilized with RHINO Carbon Fiber Concrete Crack Lock and it is now ready for a coating.

Concrete slabs serve a variety of purposes, however when it comes to providing a permanent or lasting solution for cracks, options sometimes appear slim.

Slab repairs are often overlooked and contractors may even shy away from discussing slab cracks due to the lack of permanent solutions. Concrete slabs can crack or damage for a variety of reasons depending on how they are used and how they were constructed.

Oftentimes cracks in slabs are repaired by epoxy injection or filling the surface of the crack, and while that may appear to fix the problem, these repairs usually fail and result in call-backs or further problems. Solutions with carbon fiber, however, provide a more permanent fix as the material is used to repair, reinforce and strengthen not just the damage and crack itself, but the affected area resulting in a fail-proof solution.

Common problems with concrete slabsIn commercial projects, depending on how concrete slabs were constructed, cracks can appear from lack of steel, poor concrete mix, insufficient thickness, settlement, hydro-static pressure or ground movement. In residential structures, cracks and movement in slabs are problematic, especially when covered with finished surfaces such as tile or hardwood. In a basement environment, soil gases such as radon and moisture can migrate through these cracks and the excess moisture seeping through can lead to mold and mildew problems. This not only translates into health problems for inhabitants, but also damage to any organic materials such as furniture within proximity.

Repair methods and solutionsCommon ways to repair a slab are to surface fill or inject with epoxy or polyurethane. Filling and bonding the slab back together with a high strength epoxy is a great way to seal the crack. However, the slab may still break open along the weak point - the fractured concrete along the crack itself where small hairline fractures often appear but are sometimes hard to see. If the weak point is not addressed, the lack of reinforcement and movement in the slab causes it to fail.

Permanently holding the crack together with high strength, non-corrosive carbon fiber reinforcement products such as RHINO Carbon Fiber Concrete Crack Lock will ensure that the slab cannot pull apart once it’s filled. Some contractors repair concrete with more concrete, but this method only fills the crack and does not provide any tensile strength, only the bond strength, which is not strong enough to resist the typical movement. It’s important to add tensile strength across cracks with products like carbon fiber to resist this movement.

Concrete slabs and coatingsOftentimes, contractors need to fill and reinforce slab cracks because a coating will be applied to the surface such as that found on a pool deck, garage floors as well as commercial floors. These interior or exterior slab coatings serve many purposes, either decorative or for safety. It’s important to ensure the integrity of these coatings and prevent slab cracks from telegraphing through to the surface and compromising the finish. If left unaddressed, these slab cracks can allow moisture to work its way down from the surface and into the concrete, further expanding the crack and deteriorating the area around it.

The ultra thin profile of Concrete Crack Lock is fast, efficient and non-invasive to install.

It’s important to note, many concrete or decorative coatings companies will only warranty a crack once it has been mechanically reinforced with a staple, stitch or RHINO Carbon Fiber Concrete Crack Lock to ensure that it will not compromise the new or repaired finished surface. The importance of using a permanent solution to fix the damage the first time directly impacts quality and cost for the end-user or buyer. By installing carbon fiber concrete reinforcement products — strong enough to support everything from bridges to basement slabs — cracks in slabs are controlled and prevented from failing or opening again. The ultra thin profile is fast, efficient and non-invasive to install. They do not compromise the structural integrity of the concrete around them and provide a permanent solution to slab crack control.

Concrete slabs serve a variety of purposes and support requirements vary widely, making their quality and integrity vital. To ensure their durability and lifespan, any crack or damage should be acknowledged and permanently repaired with more than just quick fill methods. Overlooking slab cracks and using temporary solutions will only cause further problems. The use of carbon fiber reinforcement products has been proven to provide permanent solutions to a variety of concrete cracks and damage, and offer contractors a permanent solution to concrete slab repair.

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