When flooring shrinks and leaves a gap you might not know why right away. Is it a defective product or related to the installation method?

Generally, flooring does not just fail in one specific area to crack and leave gaps in the floor covering. If it is defective it will be defective throughout. In some cases, an isolated crack or gap in flooring will be related to the installation if it is not performed to the right standards by a leading contractor such as Garmon & Company.

When contractors lay concrete, they often put in control joints. This will allow the concrete to crack in a straight line as the volume of concrete changes and shrinks. As concrete will change in volume when it dries out, this can often cause it to shrink and can result in a contraction of up to half an inch for a concrete slab of 100ft. The forces and stresses caused by shrinking are too much for young concrete to withstand if it has not dried out and developed full strength. So this explains cracking in newly laid concrete, but what about concrete that cracks several months after it was poured?

This could well be down to the fact that the concrete was not given enough time to dry out before the flooring was laid or the building was occupied. Essentially, this is a mistake made by a contractor who may not be experienced or is rushing through a job without allowing the correct drying time. To avoid this kind of issue it’s best to work with experienced and reputable installers like Garmon & Company.

If the concrete is not given the required time to dry out before the flooring is fitted or the building is occupied then it will be affected by the changes in climate this brings to the building. If the concrete slab is still wet and subject to building climate control it will then start to dry out.

The answer to avoiding this type of issue is one of time. Once the concrete is laid and has dried, it is then the right time to fill in the control joints and any other cracks made by shrinkage.

If the repairs are finished flush and then allowed to dry out themselves before the floor covering is laid, the chance of cracks appearing in the floor due to movement is reduced significantly.

For more help and advice on flooring installation, talk to our team who will be happy to share their expertise and help you get the best results from your commercial flooring project.