Every day, the concrete around your home or business is exposed to a variety of forces that can wear it down-rain, foot traffic, blazing sunlight and more. It is only natural that at some point, you will need to patch your concrete or ask for the help of a professional. If you are considering concrete repair as a DIY job, it is certainly possible to patch concrete on your own. However, concrete repair takes practice and experience to ensure that the repairs will last for years.
If you’re going the DIY route rather than hiring a professional, here’s what you need to know.
Patching Concrete: Before You Start
Identifying the conditions of the damaged concrete area are just as important before the project as they are during it. Before you commit to a concrete patching job, make sure that you are scheduling it for a day where the temperature will be between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no rain. You should also spend as much time as possible to carefully review the various types of concrete and the aggregates within; not all concrete is suitable for all types of projects. The new concrete type that you install should match the type (and contained aggregates) of the concrete you are repairing.
Step 1: Prepare The Area
Once you have decided on a day and a concrete variety for the task, get to work on the damaged section. Brush or scrape away any loose debris, like broken concrete chips, dust and leaves. The concrete on each side of the damage should be strong and not prone to flaking; if it keeps breaking off, continue to remove it until it is sturdy. This is where your new concrete will bond, and you want to make that juncture as strong as possible.
It is also important that you moisten the area before you proceed to the next steps involving the concrete. Your concrete will cure better in a moist juncture. Just be sure that you keep it moist, not wet-remove any excess, standing water or puddles.
Step 2: Prepare The Concrete
Next, follow the instructions provided with your concrete mix of choice. If you must mix the concrete yourself, be sure to add water slowly rather than all at once. Alternatively, you may add concrete to water instead of the other way around. Be cognizant of how much concrete you are mixing and how long it takes to dry; if you mix too much, you will not be able to use all of it before it becomes unworkable. It is better to work in small batches. A bucket or wheelbarrow can be useful for carrying and moving the concrete as you work.
Step 3: Lay The Concrete
It is now time to use the concrete mixture to make changes. If you are working on an edge, you will need to craft a barrier that will prevent the material from oozing out until it dries. For holes and cracks, apply the concrete and smooth it with a trowel. Work in small sections, layering the concrete slowly and carefully so that it is strong and not filled with air pockets. Applying large quantities of concrete into a hole or crack all at once may leave some areas unfilled, so it is better to work in layers.
If you are looking for a more textured surface, you may also smooth the new concrete with a broom. No matter what tool you use, rinse it in water immediately after use so that the concrete does not harden on the tool’s surface.
Step 4: Add The Finishing Touches
Once the concrete has been applied and smoothed to your satisfaction, allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some concrete types benefit from being misted during the curing stage of the process, while others will cure quickly without issue. Once the concrete has cured, the next step is to seal it.
Concrete sealer can be applied with a spray bottle or even a paint roller, depending on the size of your project area and the shape of the concrete. A concrete sealant will help the concrete last as long as possible so that you do not need to repeat the repair for some time.
Trust The Experts To Help You Patch Concrete The Right Way The First Time
Whether you are getting ready to tackle a concrete patching job yourself or you would like to leave this task up to professionals with years of experience, the experts you trust matter. The pros at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration would be happy to answer any questions you have about your project or complete it for you so that you can focus on other responsibilities. Reach out to learn more or schedule an appointment to start your concrete patching project.