October 6, 2020
Not all damage to your warehouse floor needs to be repaired, but do you know what to look out for? In this article we will go through some of the problems you may encounter and how to fix them.
Crazing is often confused with cracking, as it appears as a network of fine, closely spaced cracks on the surface of power trowelled concrete floors.
Crazing is typically considered an aesthetic issue and doesn’t cause any structural or serviceability issues.
Unfortunately, concrete warehouse floors are all at risk of developing cracks and this increases in proportion to the size of the bays and the distance between the floor joints designed to relieve stresses. Jointless floors (large bays and very few joints) carry a greater risk of cracking when compared to a jointed floor (lots of joints). The most common reason cracks appear is due to restraint to shrinkage.
Fine, narrow cracks which appear due to shrinkage usually don’t have any structural significance however, they should always be monitored for signs of deterioration. If a crack opens up or the edges of the crack begin to breakdown or spall, they become vulnerable to further damage from the hard wheels of the forklifts. It’s at this point repairs to the crack should be considered, to prevent further breakdown in this area and to help reduce the risk of damage to the materials handling equipment (MHE) that operate on the floor.
Less common, but with potential structural implications, are cracks from overloading of the floor slab; which typically require a technical investigation to determine the cause and provide an appropriate repair solution.
A specialist floor repair contractor who can provide expert advice and services will need to be consulted to assess the appropriate repair for the crack.
The most common source of floor maintenance for any busy operational warehouse occur from floor joints. Floor joints comprise of two slab edges, what we know in the trade as Joint Arrisses. The impact from hard wheeled, materials handling equipment passing over the joints can cause damage to the arris edges.
All joints should be filled with a joint sealant that is hard enough to support and protect the concrete arrisses, but it also needs to be able to deal with the anticipated movement whilst staying bonded to at least one arris edge. If the joint sealant has de-bonded or perished, it is effectively not protecting the joint arris, which significantly increases the risk of damage from MHE. This is your trigger to get the joint sealant replaced before further damage occurs, leading to more expensive repairs being needed.
Should you have joints that are wider than 10mm, impact damage from the MHE is still possible, even if the joint sealant remains bonded. A rounding or spalling of the joint edge is an indication that the joint needs to be repaired.
If the joint is wide or the joint sealant has not been replaced and the damage has been allowed to progress beyond the scope of re-sealing the joint, the only real solution is to re-construct the joint arris edges.
Our Arris Repair Detail is a tried and tested solution, involving saw cutting around the damaged arris areas to form new edges and replacing the damaged concrete with CoGri Repair Mortar.
Click here for further information on our Concrete Joint Arris Repair Detail
Surface defects may start off small, but the one thing which can be guaranteed is that they will get worse if you neglect them – whether it is surface erosion or spalling (also referred to as ‘pitting’) around old fixing bolts left in the slab.
Call in an expert to assess the damage and fix it before it becomes a bigger problem.
One thing to remember; once concrete starts to breakdown, it never gets better with neglect. The quicker you act the more cost effective the repairs will be.
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
For a site visit or advice on the best solution, contact the experts.