It is a sad reality that many flooring installations appear great when viewed from a far but on closer inspection, the failures and flaws become apparent.
To say Samson understands concrete floors is an understatement, as the company has spent countless hours on forensic examination of concrete floor failures, their causes and how to correct some of the most common errors. They shared with FLOORS magazine the top flooring failures and how to correct them.
1. Map Cracking • Cause: Failure to control drying wind passing over the concrete in its fresh state. When not associated with delamination, this form of cracking is only aesthetic. • How to correct: No cure is normally needed but the use of a methacrylate-siloxane water repellent can render floors nonslip. The cracking will not show when the floor is wet.
2. Delamination • Cause: Power floating concrete which has surface dried will cause the crusted topping to delaminate. This is worsened by the application of cement “dryers” at the wrong time and adding water. • How to correct: The correct approach is to cover the concrete with a plastic sheet to allow “sweating” at the surface while the underlying concrete reaches initial set. Dispersed delamination may be repaired by chipping out and replacing with a Polymer modified Patch Mortar. Extensive delamination may require scabbling of the surface and the application of a Micro Concrete layer.
3. Construction Joints • Cause: Construction joints frequently fail because of a lack of knowledge of a few simple techniques that should be adopted during construction. If power floats are restricted from compacting concrete at the shutter edges, there is a tendency for the construction joint to stand proud and therefore represents a point load under traffic which causes joints to fail. • How to correct: See the Samson Technologies booklet on how to construct failure free construction joints since correct initial installation is the best defence.