The Benefits of Using Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers for Commercial Buildings
Keeping commercial buildings in good condition is essential to ensuring the safety of occupants, preventing further damage, and protecting the financial investments made by owners. Expansion joints and crack fillers are tools that can help maintain the structural integrity of a building. Expansion joints are designed to absorb the expansion and contraction of building materials due to temperature and humidity changes.
Crack fillers are used to tightly seal any cracks that may have developed in the building’s structure. These products are easy to install and provide long-lasting protection against further damage. With the proper maintenance, expansion joints and crack fillers can extend the life of a building, saving owners from costly repairs in the future.
What are Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers?
Expansion joints allow movement in concrete slabs caused by temperature changes and other factors. They are typically filled with a flexible material such as neoprene, which can expand and contract with the concrete as needed. Expansion joints are important because they help prevent cracks from forming in the concrete due to movement.
Crack fillers are materials used to fill and repair cracks in concrete surfaces. There are many types of crack fillers available, including epoxy-based products, polyurethane-based products, and asphalt-based products. The choice of crack filler will depend on the specific characteristics of the crack and the intended use of the repaired surface.
Both expansion joints and crack fillers are important tools for maintaining the integrity and appearance of concrete surfaces. They can help prevent damage and extend the lifespan of the concrete.
Benefits of Using Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers
There are several benefits to using expansion joints and crack fillers:
- Prevention of cracks: Expansion joints help prevent cracks from forming in concrete due to movement caused by temperature changes and other factors. Crack fillers can repair existing cracks and help prevent them from spreading or becoming deeper.
- Improved appearance: Expansion joints and crack fillers can help improve the appearance of concrete surfaces by preventing unsightly cracks from forming.
- Increased durability: By preventing cracks from forming, expansion joints and crack fillers can help increase the durability of concrete surfaces.
- Increased safety: Cracks in concrete surfaces can pose a safety hazard, as they can cause trips and falls. Expansion joints and crack fillers can help prevent these hazards.
- Cost savings: Using expansion joints and crack fillers can help extend the lifespan of concrete surfaces, resulting in cost savings over time.
Overall, expansion joints and crack fillers are important tools for maintaining the integrity and appearance of concrete surfaces. They can help prevent damage and extend the lifespan of the concrete.
Types of Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers
There are several types of expansion joints and crack fillers available, including:
- Neoprene expansion joints: These are made of a flexible rubber material that can expand and contract with the concrete.
- Asphalt expansion joints: These are made of asphalt and are typically used in road construction.
- Pre-molded expansion joints: These are pre-shaped expansion joints that can be easily installed in concrete slabs.
- Epoxy-based crack fillers are strong and durable and well-suited for filling and repairing wide or deep cracks.
- Polyurethane-based crack fillers are flexible and can move with the concrete as it expands and contracts. They are well-suited for filling and repairing hairline cracks.
- Asphalt-based crack fillers: These are similar to asphalt expansion joints and are typically used for filling and repairing cracks in asphalt surfaces.
The choice of expansion joint or crack filler will depend on the specific characteristics of the concrete surface and the intended use of the repaired area. It is important to select a product that is compatible with the concrete, and that is suitable for the specific repair needs.
Selecting the Right Expansion Joint or Crack Filler
POLYFLEX is a 100% solids, two component, moisture insensitive epoxy. POLYFLEX is formulated polysulfide free to resist damage from wheeled traffic and stress vibrations. POLYFLEX is specifically designed as an industrial concrete floor crack filler and sealer product or narrow masonry grooves and expansion joints.
KWIK-FLEX is a unique & complete material for concrete floor repair in colder climates. In just 60 minutes, KWIK-FLEX provides a durable, permanent seal that resists harsh weather and temperature fluctuations while providing an attractive appearance.
Tips for Installing Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers
Here are a few tips for installing expansion joints and crack fillers:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the expansion joint or crack filler you are using. These instructions will provide important information on properly preparing the surface, mixing the product, and applying it.
- Prepare the surface: Before installing an expansion joint or crack filler, it is important to clean the surface and remove any dirt, debris, or contaminants that could prevent the product from adhering properly. Any cracks or holes should also be repaired before installing the expansion joint or crack filler.
- Use the right tools: Use the tools recommended by the manufacturer for installing the expansion joint or crack filler. These may include a trowel, a putty knife, or a caulking gun.
- Apply the product evenly: When applying the expansion joint or crack filler, use an even and consistent motion to ensure that the product is applied evenly. Avoid overfilling the expansion joint or crack, as this can lead to excess material squeezing out and requiring additional cleanup.
- Allow the product to cure: After installing the expansion joint or crack filler, be sure to allow the product to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wait to use the area until the product has fully cured.
Installing expansion joints and crack fillers can be a challenge. Still, with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can achieve good results and extend the lifespan of your concrete surfaces.
Preventative Maintenance for Expansion Joints and Crack Fillers
- Preventive maintenance for expansion joints and crack fillers is important to extend these elements’ life and ensure that they are functioning properly. Some preventative maintenance measures you can take include:
- Regular inspection: Regularly inspecting expansion joints and crack fillers can help you identify any issues early on and address them before they become more serious.
- Cleaning: Cleaning expansion joints and crack fillers can help remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can cause damage.
- Repairing damaged areas: If you notice any cracks, holes, or other damage to expansion joints or crack fillers, it is important to repair these areas as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
- Applying sealant: Applying sealant to expansion joints and crack fillers can help protect them from the elements and prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.
- Protecting from heavy traffic: If expansion joints or crack fillers are located in areas that experience heavy traffic, it is important to take measures to protect them from damage, such as installing protective coverings or redirecting traffic.
Call Capital Industries, Inc. today at 631-298-6300 to learn more about our industrial concrete floor coatings.
Capital Industries, Inc. is a leading supplier of commercial and industrial concrete repair products. For over 30 years, we have proudly serviced contractors, factories, warehouses and distribution centers for industrial, institutional and commercial customers. We carry a full range of concrete repair materials, including those specifically designed for low temperature areas such as freezers and coolers. Our floor repair products are rapid hardening, allowing you to reopen repaired areas with minimal downtime. All of our products are designed to be used by in-house maintenance personnel and come with an ironclad 100% guarantee of satisfaction.