How to Repair Pitted Concrete Garage Floor

Let’s talk about How to Repair Pitted Concrete Garage Floor.

The reason people hold off their fancy garage floor projects isn’t because of some concrete spalling or pitting. It’s because the idea of repairing it on your own seems intimidating.

The truth is, repairing your garage floor isn’t very difficult, and you only need some guidance and a good quality concrete resurfacer to do the trick.

In this article, we’ll be doing just that.

First, you’ll gain some basic understanding of concrete spalling and pitting. Then, we’ll go through all the steps on how to repair pitted concrete garage floors.

TLDR on Garage Concrete Maintenance:

Before we dig in, for those who don’t have time for the whole article on how to fix pitted concrete floors, here’s the TLDR! Our top pick to help with repairing spalled concrete floors is Rust-Oleum Concrete Resurfacer:

Let’s get started!

Is There a Difference Between Pitting and Spalling?

We won’t deny that pitting and spalling share a lot of similarities. However, they’re not the same thing.

Concrete Pitting

  • Has small, deep holes with a noticeable jagged look.
  • Occurs due to a wide variety of reasons; like natural aging, improper finishing techniques, inadequate mixing or bad use of an accelerator.
  • Pitting can cover large areas on your garage floor.

Concrete Spalling

  • Makes the floor’s surface crumble completely, or separate in several thin layers.
  • Occurs usually because of cold climates, which subjects the concrete to something called a freeze-thaw cycle.
  • Is more localized than concrete pitting.

For concrete spalling, the damage occurs on a microscopic level. Water deposits on the garage floor and makes its way into the concrete’s capillaries. The water freezes and subsequently expands into its surroundings, causing the surface to weaken, separate, and finally crumble.

How to Repair Pitted Concrete Garage Floor and Concrete Spalling Repair Methods

Spalling

Concrete Spalling Repair Methods

When it comes to repairing the concrete spalling, there are a lot of products that you can use.

This depends on how big the size of the repair is, how deep it is, and sometimes, how you wanna look at it.

We’re going to be discussing how to repair concrete garage floor spalling and pitting using the two most common types of products; epoxy and polymer-modified cement.

Concrete Spalling Repair Procedures Using Epoxy

You’ll be happy to know that most of the pitting and spalling issues in your garage can be repaired quite easily with concrete spalling repair epoxy. It isn’t as hard as for concrete that’s outdoors.

Even for the most novice DIY users, we can confidently say that following our guide will make you repair that concrete garage floor entrance in no time!

Step 1: Prepping the Concrete for Repair

For a garage, the damage depth is most probably less than ¼ inches for spalling and ½ inches for pitting. More times than not, it’ll be less than that.

So, the first thing to do to prepare the concrete is to clean. Cleaning the area you want to repair can be done by removing any oil stain, sealers, or wax. Basically, anything that can act as a bond breaker.

Step 2: Remove any broken or loose concrete

This can be done with a hammer and chisel. Don’t forget this step. It’s imperative that you have no loose material in the area.

Spalling starts by damaging the concrete from beneath the surface as we mentioned above.

This means that there could be surrounding areas that were affected but do not show it on a visible level. For that, we recommend going around with the hammer and tapping firmly, to see if there’s a hollow sound coming out.

Heard a hollow sound? The area beneath is probably deteriorated too, and you should hit it with the hammer and expose the damage done underneath. You don’t want to have to do any extra repairs in the future.

All done! All you need to do now is to sweep the floor clean and vacuum any excess dust.

Step 3 – Choosing Epoxy for Concrete Spalling Repair

This is the most common method to repair your concrete floor. Here’s why.

  • It works extremely well
  • It is the go-to method for floor coating contractors
  • It can fill large holes
  • It can be trowelled out smoothly over pits
  • It’s easily applied to spalling that covers large areas

If you have a few holes due to pitting, or a localized spalling, this is where epoxy concrete resurfacers will work best.

Step 4 – Preparing Epoxy for Concrete Spalling Repair

Later on, we’ll mention the Rust-Oleum Concrete Resurfacer as the best resurfacer you can buy. If this is the product you’re going for, there are some additional things you need to know.

First of all, 1 gallon should be enough to repair 8 to 10 feet squared of spalling, with a depth of ¼ inches. This can vary because of how much aggregate there’s mixed in.

This patch is a 2-part gel that can be mixed as needed. For the purpose of repairing, you should mix the Part-A and Part-B of the product according to the directions on the box.

Step 5 – Applying Epoxy on the Concrete Spalling

Apply the epoxy mix to the repair area and be sure to work it in firmly so you can push out any trapped air. Smooth it out using a putty knife or a trowel. In 24 hours your repair should be hard enough for grinding or sand flushing.

When it’s trowelled in, you can use a cement float to smoothen the mix, and feather it to the surface. There’s a cool industry trick to use Windex in spraying the float. This will prevent the trowel from sticking, and provide a nice, clean surface.

Concrete Spalling Repair Procedures Using Polymer-Modified Cement

Another type that works great is polymer-modified cement. This is a mix of cement, sand aggregate, and polymers.

All you need to do is add water. You can use it to patch concrete or as a resurfacing cement topping.

There are some advantages to polymer-modified cement. They’re easier to work with and adhere slightly better than the standard epoxy mixture. They can also be thinned out to as little as 1/16 inches.

If you have very deep pitting, broken edges, or lips, this is where polymer-modified cement can come in handy.

Step 1 and 2: Same Procedure as With Using Epoxy

Step 3: Pouring the Polymer-Modified Cement

After following the manufacturer’s instructions and pouring water, you can pour the polymer-modified cement directly onto the area. Spread using a hand trowel or a metal-edged squeegee.

If there are holes that are deeper than ¼ inches, we recommend that you mix a smaller, thicker batch to cover these spots.

Step 4: Applying the Topping

In about an hour, you can use a mason’s stone or a grinder to rough these spots over.

Once you’re done, sweep and then apply the topping over it.

If you want to add a second coating, wait 4-6 hours for the areas to settle and look for any low spots. Use 60 grit sandpaper to rough and then start applying the second coat.

Best Concrete Resurfacer You Can Buy

The best concrete resurfacer we can recommend is Rust-Oleum Concrete Resurfacer!

It has a solid color coating, which can really bring back life into your eroded concrete with just a couple of coats.

We especially liked how versatile this resurfacer was. It can be used on anything concrete, so you can make use of it for pool decks, sidewalks, or even your entire patio!

The instructions say one coat is enough to fox your spalling, but we recommend two coats to give your weathered concrete a new look.

Overall, hard as nails and sticks like glue. The only complaint we could think of is that some other products will set in less than 5 hours, whereas Rust-Oleum is only paintable after 8 hours.

 

Closing Thoughts

Don’t forget – you need to pay attention to the mixing instructions for any product you buy.

When you’re done with the repairs, make sure you seal the floor or apply a coating, to prevent any further pitting or spalling.

We can’t deny that there’s a learning curve to deal with here, such as with anything else. If you follow our guide closely, however, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you may have anticipated.

Be sure to also check out my other posts on your garage flooring: