How to Prevent Your Concrete Floor from Cracking

August 24, 2023

Concrete flooring, traditionally used as a base for carpets or laminate, is now a popular choice in both commercial and residential buildings. Its aesthetic appeal has broadened its application from industrial settings to minimalist-style homes, making it a versatile choice for various interior design options. 

The raw beauty of an exposed concrete floor offers an unrivalled edge, adding character and a contemporary feel to any space. Beyond its visual appeal, the practical benefits of concrete flooring are numerous. It's easy to clean, incredibly durable, and acts as a fantastic neutral palette on which to base your interior design. Whether you're aiming for a sleek, modern look or an industrial vibe, a concrete floor can effectively set the stage. 

However, like any other material, concrete flooring requires proper care and maintenance to prevent unsightly and potentially unsafe cracks. But don't let this deter you! With the right precautions, you can enjoy the aesthetic and functional benefits of concrete floors for years to come. 

With over 50 years of experience drilling, cutting and sawing into concrete for projects both domestic and commercial, our team here at DP Diamond Drilling have some top tips for preventing damage to your concrete flooring, and getting the most both visually and structurally out of your concrete floor slabs.

What makes concrete floors crack?

Unfortunately, concrete is naturally prone to cracking. However, this in no way undermines its strength and durability as a material for building robust concrete floors in jobs both big and small - the trick is in getting the mix right. Balancing the ratios of concrete mix to water is pivotal in minimising cracking as it hardens. More so, getting this right will result in a solid, long-lasting concrete floor that can stand the test of time. 

Other common causes of concrete floor slabs cracking are changeable weather conditions and, more problematically, foundational issues. Despite being extremely strong, durable and able to withstand heavy weights, changing temperatures can cause concrete to crack as it struggles to bend. Fortunately, with the proper care and expansion cutting, this can be easily avoided. 

A more unlikely cause behind cracks in your concrete floor can be foundational issues. These can be caused by swelling of the soil, or large tree roots underneath the foundations of the building. If you suspect that foundational issues could be behind your cracked floor, it’s important to get in touch with an expert who can help you figure out the next necessary steps. 

Despite these challenges, there is no reason to despair. Experienced concrete contractors such as ourselves have the skills and knowledge to manage these issues safely and effectively. We understand that concrete is subject to expansion and contraction, and our knowledgeable team offer both concrete floor sawing and concrete grinding and sealing solutions to help prevent concrete cracks before they occur.

How can I avoid cracks in my concrete floor?

So, how can you prevent cracks in your concrete floor before they occur? The answer is simple - with expansion cutting! This process involves creating a concrete expansion joint that allows for the natural expansion and contraction of concrete under varying conditions, like temperature shifts. These strategically placed cuts allow the concrete to move freely, inhibiting damage or cracking. This is crucial for preserving the structural integrity of your concrete floor. As professional diamond drilling contractors, we at DP Diamond Drilling are experts in concrete sawing and can cut these expansion joints with absolute precision and ease. Trust us to keep your concrete floors crack-free and in excellent condition.

How concrete floor sawing is used to prevent cracks and damage

Wondering how expansion cutting works? We use our specialist saws with diamond-tipped blades to cut through even the toughest concrete with ease and precision, achieving the desired cuts with minimal disruption to both our domestic and commercial clients. 

Please note that the optimal time for expansion cuts to be made is when the concrete is durable enough to withstand the sawing, but before any internal cracks have started to appear. Not sure how to check if your newly laid concrete is ready for sawing? We can easily create trial cuts to check for ravelling, a problem which arises when it’s too soon for the concrete to be sawed into. 

If you want to find out more about our expansion cutting experience, check out our case study on a concrete floor sawing project we completed in the Midlands.

Maintaining the quality of your concrete floor 

Once expansion cutting is complete, you may find that you want to further improve the quality of your concrete floor with our grinding and sealing service. A popular choice for exposed concrete flooring, this is an effective way to improve both the longevity and look of your floor slab. 

Breathe new life into old or damaged concrete floors with our expert concrete floor grind and seal service. Our skilled team uses modern techniques like concrete sawing and a sturdy, metal-bonded diamond to meticulously grind away any imperfections. Underneath the damaged surface, we unveil a smooth, level under-layer that is ready to receive our specialist sealant. Using a top-quality, chemical-resistant polyurethane sealer, we give your floors an attractive finish that's not only easy to clean but also resilient against grease, oil and stains. 

Check out our recent grinding and sealing project for Bryn Thomas Cranes, a family-run business based in Flint, North Wales.

Which is best? Concrete floor polishing, or concrete grinding and sealing?

If you’re looking for ways to improve the appearance of your concrete floor, it’s likely that you’ve come across both concrete floor polishing and grinding and sealing. But which is best? 

Whilst polishing aims to give a high shine finish desired by many, a concrete floor grind and seal smooths out imperfections and applies a specialist chemical resistant seal that improves both the appearance and durability of your concrete floor. 

Opting for grinding and sealing over polishing is an economical, less labour-intensive alternative that remarkably revives your floor, giving an attractive, more low-maintenance finish ideal for both residential and commercial buildings. 

Worried about your concrete floor? Get in touch with the experts today

Ready to transform the look and feel of your concrete floor? Whether you need expansion cutting or a concrete grind and seal, our team of experts are on hand to help. Get in touch with us today to arrange your free site visit and quote.