Unsightly Expansion Joints
Garage floor shows cracks after subcontractor's work, but that may be the least of all evils.
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Q: I have a home under construction. My concrete subcontractor installed expansion joints throughout the garage floor slab. Now I have unsightly cracks where these joints have been placed. Can anything be done about this to improve on the appearance, or do I have to live with this? Could the garage slab be taken up entirely without doing damage to the house?
A: An expansion joint is an unsightly piece of fiberboard or other compressive material (usually black or gray in color) that separates the concrete slabs and allows for expansion and contraction of the slabs. In a garage, you probably have control joints that are cut into the slab during the installation and finishing process or are cut in later using a concrete saw.
Control joints are important, but not always necessary. The finish of the garage floor should have been discussed prior to installation. It is possible to remove the concrete without damaging the home or foundation.
However, any concrete floor will crack, and the control joints help control that cracking. In my opinion, it is better to have control joints.
Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors.
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