Replacing a garage floor is an expensive task if you hire a contractor. If you do the work yourself, it’s a time-consuming, messy and tough job. The good news is the garage floors can often be repaired, even if there’s been settling, and part of the floor is lower than the rest.
Here are common garage floor problems, and how they can be repaired.
Surface Pitting and Cracking
If the surface has minor cracks and pits but no major cracks or settling, then the repair is fairly easy. A concrete resurfacing product is the answer. This is a DIY project. Measure the floor to be resurfaced, and determine its square footage.
Find a resurfacing product at your local home improvement store, and buy a few more containers of it than you think you’ll need. You don’t want to run out in the middle of the project, and any leftover bags or containers can be returned. You’ll need the resurfacer, concrete cleaner so you can apply the product to a clean surface, squeegee, stiff broom, mixing bucket and mixer and plastic sheeting to protect surrounding walls. The resurfacing product should have complete directions for use.
If you plan to cover the garage floor with finished flooring, then an epoxy product that fills minor pits and cracks and provides a very hard surface is an option too.
Cracks larger than ¼” should be ground out with a masonry wheel and filled with concrete filler. A concrete chisel and hammer can also be used for the job. Fill deeper cracks with silica to within an inch of the surface before adding filler. The silica will prevent settling of the filler product.
If the settling is minor and the settled areas seem stable, applying self-leveling concrete in the low areas is a quick and easy fix. The product is available at home improvement stores, and should contain clear directions. Videos are available online too.
Replacement might be needed for significant settling, but talk to a contractor first. They have methods that cost less than replacement. Mud jacking is a process by which a sand-based grout is injected beneath the concrete to raise it. Foam jacking is similar, except polyurethane foam is injected to jack up the concrete to make it level.
Before you hire a contractor to replace the concrete, get concrete repair estimates from several companies. Ask for replacement estimates too, and you can compare costs. If the repair cost is 75 percent of the replacement cost or more, you’re better off with replacement.
Adding a Layer of Self Leveling Concrete
If you’re planning to finish the garage, and won’t be parking vehicles on it any more, then adding a layer of self-leveling concrete will give you a clean, level and sturdy floor that can be stained and polished. If you don’t want a concrete floor, it will serve as a solid foundation for the type of flooring your prefer…hardwood, tile, carpeting and more.