How to Fill and Repair a Concrete Joint in 2 Simple Steps

How to Repair Your Concrete JointsYou are tasked with fixing a deteriorated floor surface. Before your begin the repair, it’s important to determine the cause of the defects, which will help you find the best long-term repair strategy for the project. Any structural causes will need to be corrected prior to filling a joint.

Joints can be filled three different ways, depending upon the extent of the floor’s deterioration. If the existing filler is well-bonded structurally to one or both sides of the joint, you can refill voids without removing it entirely, or making a partial removal. However, if the existing filler is not well-bonded or appears to be installed improperly, remove it completely before making the joint repair.

Three Considerations

Consideration 1: Select floor repair materials that meet the requirements of a facility’s operations. Consider frequency and type of traffic — foot, vehicle, heavy equipment. Also consider building temperature, the surface area to be repaired and the work window you have to complete the repair. This will help determine whether you need to use more rigid products for large repairs, if epoxy products will have the time required to cure or if you’re working in a freezer or cooler room.

Consideration 2: Prepare the surface for long-lasting repair by making sure the area is well-defined and cleaned properly prior to filling with repair material. Proper surface preparation is critical to a successful repair. Take care that the edges of joints, cracks and surface spalls are at least 1/2-inch deep and the area is not only clean, but dry prior to filling.

Consideration 3: Avoid a concave or dished joint by filling with repair materials slightly higher than the floor surface. Once cured, the excess material is ground or shaved to meet the original surface, restoring a smooth, continuous, flush profile across the floor.

Tools & Equipment

Repair Materials

The Process

Step 1. Use joint cleaning saw or right angle grinder equipped with a braided wire wheel or suitable diamond blade to remove existing joint filler to a nominal depth of ½-inch below surface, making sure all filler residue is removed from joint walls back to clean concrete. Vacuum joint clean.

Step 2. Overfill joint with appropriate filler. Allow filler to cure, then razor flush with floor surface.

Additional Resources

In addition to these tips, products and processes, please take a look at our YouTube page for specific joint repair videos taken during various training classes (presented by experts from Metzger/McGuire). Also, please comment below or contact us with additional questions, or visit our website for a full listing of Metzger/McGuire products.

3 Popular Concrete Densifiers Demystified

Concrete densifiers are also known as chemical hardeners. When applied to a concrete floor, a densifier fills empty spaces in the material and oftentimes forms a chemical bond with the concrete, changing its properties and increasing surface density.

Benefits of Using Densifiers

Densifiers are used specifically to improve the concrete surface when polishing. As long as free lime is present, the complete saturation of a densifier will make substrate harder, which allows a more aesthetically pleasing finish grinding and polishing, and prolongs the durability of the polish. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced dusting
  • Higher, deeper gloss than untreated concrete
  • Increased abrasion resistance and weathering
  • Longer floor lifespan
  • Locks in a topical color application
  • Stain resistance
  • Easier to clean

Types of Densifiers

Different types of densifiers create a chemical bond with concrete in a variety of ways. Runyon Surface Prep carries a wide selection of densifiers; below is a comparison of the three most popular.

Ameripolish – 3D Hybrid Silicate Densifier

  • Developed to help keep concrete looking newer longer
  • Improves performance of new, old or aged and existing concrete
  • Can be used with integrally-colored cements
  • Contains UV stabilizers to help protect color from fading
  • Penetrates fast for a deep seal
  • Hardens deep to improve durability even after grinding

Convergent Pentra-Sil Densifier

  • Developed to increase the integrity and life of concrete floors
  • Patented nano lithium hardener technology reacts with the concrete to produce calcium silicate hydrate (CSH), creating a strong, virtually impenetrable and durable finish with only one-coat and no rinsing
  • Resistant to bacteria

Prosoco Consolideck LS

  • Developed to improve the appearance and performance of architectural masonry
  • Gives new life to historic buildings, monuments, existing buildings, new masonry and reinforced concrete structures
  • Lithium silicate treatment reacts with the concrete to produce CSH
  • Safer, faster and easier to apply than conventional sodium or potassium silicate hardeners
  • Will not trigger or contribute to surface ASR (Alkali Silicate Reaction)
  • Resists damage from water

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about these three concrete densifiers, or if you’d like to purchase please visit our website or call us at 800.896.8665. We look forward to hearing from you!

Browning Chapman’s Exemplary Floors Emphasize the Importance of Concrete Maintenance

Without a proper maintenance plan and the adequate steps taken to ensure a polished surface, concrete is worn by time, stains and foot traffic. However, diligent measures can really go a long way. This next featured customer demonstrates how important it is to not only achieve a finished, polished look, but also the importance of maintaining it after the floor begins to lose its shine. Although the majority of these pictures were taken directly after the floors were initially polished, Browning Chapman also restores and breathes new life into dull floors.

 

Browning Chapman really has a lot of specialties, some of which are evidenced in the photos above. These specialties range from polished concrete to repair and maintenance. And as part of maintenance for its customers, a valuable service, Browning Chapman uses several Clarke products to keep floors looking as shiny as when they were first finished. You can see that this crew’s polished concrete is incredibly reflective, and it will remain so if maintained properly.

Browning Chapman at a glance…

Browning Chapman, LLC is a contracting firm headquartered in Anderson, Indiana. The company specializes in concrete restoration and maintenance work, coating removal, concrete floor prep, structural concrete repairs, epoxy injection work, masonry tuck-pointing and repairs, parking garage repairs and deck coatings, joint sealants, MMA coatings, epoxy coatings, epoxy reflector floors, polished and stained concrete floors, and terrazzo vitrification. Browning Chapman performs work throughout the Midwest on new and existing facilities in the institutional, industrial, retail, commercial, office and distribution warehouse facilities markets.

If you have questions about the products used for any of these jobs, the process, etc., please feel free to contact us or add to the comment section below. Also, please be sure to check out other impressive decorative concrete work in the customer highlights section.

Exposed Floor Design Rebuilds and Refills Sysco’s Joints with Ease

In a previously featured story, Exposed Floor Design Group filled the joints in a new Sam’s Club store, and it turned out really well. The same can be said for the concrete floors located throughout a Sysco Food Distribution center, as per the image below. Joint filling and joint repair are areas of expertise for Exposed – they pride themselves on giving floors new life.

Sysco polish job - Exposed

Project: Sysco Food Distribution in Lewisville, TX

Scope:  Joint Rebuild/Refill

Materials:  ArmorHard Extreme and RS88

This project entailed repairing joints throughout a heavy-use distribution facility. Obviously a food distribution facility has to maintain significant levels of cleanliness and sanitation, all the while, they must maintain production. The Exposed crew could not close them down, so they chose products that would get them back to service before the next morning. The choice was easy for these joint rebuilds: ArmorHard Extreme was the only way to go.

Keys to Success:

  • Preparation is key! Use the right tools to “square up” the spalled edges of the joints.  Remove any contamination in the joint area before you prime the surfaces.  A good bond is vital to the joint surviving.
  • Mix it right! The Exposed crew likes to mix the liquids, then add in aggregate to get the right consistency.  This project worked best at a “mortar-like” consistency.  Make sure the mixture is lump free.
  • Don’t overwork the material! This is where skill and experience comes to play. Get the material in, compacted and smooth, then leave it alone.
  • Recut the joint! It is vital to recut the joint to allow movement in the slab when rebuilding joints. The key here is to make sure you cut all the way through the ArmorHard, so it is not bonded at the bottom of the joint.
  • Refill the joint with RS88 “full depth.” Don’t cheat here! The RS88 in the joint will bridge the joint as traffic passes, and it will minimize stress to the new ArmorHard egdes. If you do not go full depth, you risk stressing the bottom of the joint repair and it may fail.
  • The ability to prep, prime, rebuild and return to service was a requirement of this job, and ArmorHard Extreme allowed Exposed to succeed!

For more details on the products used, the process of refilling or repair a joint, etc. please contact us. And be sure to check out our other WOC featured stories!

Exposed Floor Design Repairs and Renews Brookshire’s Concrete Floors

How do you change out the floor in a grocery store that remains open for business? The easy answer: use the right tools for the job. Exposed Floor Design Group had to work the night shift at a Brookshire’s store in Texas from 11pm to 6am, which did not provide a lot of time to get work done, especially when allowing for curing. However, the crew managed well by following tried and true steps and by using highly trusted Metzger/McGuire products. You can see how well the store’s floors turned out in the gallery below.


Project: Brookshire’s Store in Kaufman, TX

Scope: Remove VCT, Repair Slab, Grind, Polish

Materials:  RS88, Rapid Refloor, ArmorHard, Pentra-Sil

The Process:

  1. First night: demo VCT and remove glue with first grind
  2. Second night: repair holes with Repid Refloor (color matched to the slab, “High Tea”) and polish up to 800’s
  3. Third night: move the racks between the areas completed night 1 and 2, demo, repair, polish and reset racks
  4. Fourth night: polish the whole floor throughout

The Stunning Results:

The customer was incredibly impressed by the Rapid Refloor product. They found it to be aesthetically better, as it can be color matched, in addition to being durable and smooth. The key to Rapid Refloor repairs is to remove dirt from spalls, square the edges and sand flush to the floor. Exposed uses Rapid Refloor in the same way for several of its customers.  When you have small dents, chips and dings on your floor, Rapid Refloor is a great solution!

For questions about this project, the process or the products, feel free to contact us or write in the comment section below! Also, be sure to find many more customer feature stories on our blog here.

Kent Companies’ Metal Shake Floor Ensures Industrial Strength

Industrial warehouses undergo a substantial amount of wear and tear from heavy machinery, as one would expect. However, keeping factory and facility concrete floors polished and in pristine condition is crucial for efficient daily operation and ease of movement. Kent Companies is currently finishing up a job in a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, MI that aims to accomplish this very thing.

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The Unique Process

Since the floor in this manufacturing facility is meant to be durable and withstand heavy machinery, pallets, forklifts, etc. Kent Companies mixed aluminum aggregate into the concrete overlay, a process perfected with years and experience. Commonly known as metal shake, this floor is now restored with a polished concrete surface that can better withstand the tough rigors of industrial work. In addition to being stronger, the metal shake floor is open to the production area, which allows for easier turnover and movement through the production line and out the door. This office furniture manufacturing facility involved polishing all aisle ways throughout the plant.  Over 50,000 square feet of polished metal shake aisle ways are now in the facility.

Additional Measures

Kent Companies not only laid and polished metal shake concrete floors, but the crew also created control joints to better manage any cracking that may occur over time. And lastly, AmeriPolish densifier and guard were applied to protect and seal the floor from spillage and stains. The floor is dark already however, so stains will not be as noticeable.

If you are more interested in learning more about how this floor was completed, the products that were used, etc. please feel free to contact a member of the Runyon Surface Prep team, or comment below! For more project posts by Kent Companies, visit the customer highlights page.

Cabela’s Customized Concrete Flooring Creates a Lasting Effect

More and more, retail stores are realizing the benefit of customized concrete floors, via special designs and stencils, in addition to simply maintaining a polished finish throughout. Creating a personalized space not only distinguishes the location, but it strengthens the brand and can help create a welcome and engaging environment. Adapting to this decorative concrete trend is a measure of success for Kent Companies, who did such a job at the Cabela’s store in Grandville, MI.

Project Background

The 88,000-square-foot store is Cabela’s 43rd retail location across the United States and Canada. It includes thousands of quality outdoor products, as well as a mountain replica, wildlife displays, an aquarium, a boat shop, an indoor archery range, a gun library, a bargain cave, a deli and a fudge shop. The Cabela’s logo, as seen in the top-most picture, measures 120” x 71.9.” This logo stencil provides a bold statement, reinforcing store branding as guests enter the retail location. In regards to the other pictures, polished concrete throughout stands up to heavy retail traffic and offers store operations and management many maintenance benefits.

Products Overview

Maintenance Creates Lasting Effects

In order for the floors at Cabela’s to remain so pristine, especially with such high foot traffic, the retail location must have a maintenance plan in place. With a little guidance from Kent Companies in terms of which products to use, how often to apply them, etc., and proper execution, the floors in Cabela’s should continue impressing customers for years to come.

For more feature stories about Kent Companies, see our customer highlights page. If you have in-depth questions about the above process, products or how to maintain your floors, please contact us or write us a comment below!