Repairing Concrete Cracks in Minnesota: Epoxy Versus Polyurethane Crack Injections

Professionals commonly use epoxy and polyurethane for repairing concrete cracks in Minnesota. Neither material is overall better than the other, but you should choose the material that suits your specific type of crack. To help you make the right choice, here’s some general information about epoxy and polyurethane injections for crack repair.

Epoxy Injections

Epoxy injections come in different consistencies, ranging from thin liquid to thick paste. This allows epoxy to penetrate a variety of different types of cracks. Wide cracks require thick epoxy, and thin epoxy fills narrow cracks well. Epoxy works well for cracks that truly damage a building’s structure. Once fully set, epoxy is extremely strong and complements concrete’s hardness well. It does take hours to harden, but this allows epoxy time to seep into even the smallest crevices. Although epoxy is stronger than concrete, it’s still vulnerable to further cracking from a building settling. That’s why professionals recommend other means of structural support as well. Epoxy also works well for waterproofing cracks to prevent mold and mildew from developing. The concrete, however, shouldn’t have wetness or an active leak because epoxy won’t stick to it. Another common problem with epoxy is that it can flow out the back of a crack rather than fill the crack.

Polyurethane Injections

Professionals can fix cracks that don’t involve structural damage with polyurethane injections. These types of cracks don’t require material that’s just as strong or stronger than the surrounding concrete. Polyurethane is ideal for cracks that involve wet concrete or active water leakage. The material interacts with water to form a foam, which fills the crack and seals it. Unlike epoxy, polyurethane foam won’t leak out the back of a crack. The foam also begins to harden faster than epoxy, within minutes after injection. Although polyurethane isn’t as strong as epoxy, it is flexible and moves with the contraction and expansion that occurs during freeze-thaw cycles. Polyurethane foam uses less resin because it expands in volume, which makes it cheaper than epoxy. It’s also easier to fill a crack with polyurethane foam than with epoxy, especially if the crack is wide.

Leave Crack Repair To The Professionals

In deciding between epoxy and polyurethane, professionals consider several characteristics of a crack. First off, determining whether or not the crack impacts a building’s structure is highly important. Professionals have the expertise to tell if a crack involves structure, which is why seeking professional advice is important in crack repair. You’ll waste money and effort if you try to repair a structural crack with polyurethane foam, and you’ll also give the crack an opportunity to worsen with further building settling.

Professionals also consider whether there’s an active leak and whether filling material can easily seep out the back of the crack. In most cases of water leakage, professionals choose polyurethane injections for the fastest fix. If you have a crack that requires epoxy but has a leak, you should definitely not try to fix it as a DIY project. You’ll likely end up wasting a lot of expensive epoxy if you try to apply it to concrete that hasn’t fully dried. Even if it seems to stick, you probably don’t know if the results look the way they should. Professionals know better what to do in this situation to achieve a durable, hassle-free repair.

PolyTek Surface Coatings uses high-quality products and advanced technology to rid concrete cracks and keep them gone. We’re fully licensed and insured with many years of experience serving Minnesota, and we provide assistance to residential and commercial properties. To speak with a knowledgeable professional further on this topic, please contact us.