The concrete around your home serves as both an aesthetic boon and a utilitarian tool. From clean, crisp walkways that create visual interest to stairs that get you where you need to go, concrete is a versatile building material that can last for years. Unfortunately, even the strongest concrete will eventually start to wear down and might even crack. If you’ve noticed cracks in your concrete, you might be thinking of repairing them yourself. While this is a job best left to the pros, here’s what you need to know about concrete crack repair if you want to try it yourself.
The Materials You’ll Need
Before you get started on your concrete repair job, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Some you may already have at home, like a sledgehammer and personal protective equipment such as goggles. Others you’ll need to purchase based on the scope of your project.
Look for concrete groovers, trowels and edgers that suit the type of shape you will be trying to make. Then, depending on your project, pick up some sand, caulk (if needed), the actual concrete mix and a latex bonding agent. If you are planning to work with larger amounts of concrete mix, you may also need a wheelbarrow for transport.
If you do not have all of the necessary protective equipment at home, be sure to acquire it before you start. This includes not only the aforementioned goggles but also knee pads, a dust mask (or respirator) and strong gloves.
Repairing Cracks In Concrete Slabs And Walkways
To start repairing a concrete crack, you’ll need to clean up the area. First, break up the damaged section of concrete so that you have more space with which to work, and so that the edges of the crack are now surrounded by stronger concrete. If the crack was particularly large, redistribute the broken concrete to craft a bed on which the new concrete can be spread.
Then, moisten the area with a water hose. While a little water is good to help the concrete set, avoid creating or leaving behind puddles. When waiting for the area to dry, you can mix your concrete according to the package instructions. Then you can begin to fill the crack. It’s easiest and most effective to start the fill process from one side of the crack, work toward the middle, and then start from the other side of the crack until you again reach the middle.
Keep the concrete as even as possible while you fill. Once you have filled the crack, you can screed the filling. Take something sturdy and flat, like a board, and pull it along the crack to flatten out the new concrete until it’s level and matches its surroundings. You can also use a darby or trowel, if needed, to flatten the area in more detail.
Once you are satisfied that the area matches its surroundings, it’s time to let it cure. The manufacturer instructions will provide more insight for your specific mix, but usually, it’s recommended to mist the concrete while it cures.
Additional Considerations For Stairs, Corners And Shapes
Repairing cracks on flat surfaces can be challenging enough, but you are faced with an even more difficult task if you need to repair concrete shapes like stairs. These areas require you to create and install a patch form that will keep the concrete in the right shape (like a square corner) until it cures.
When it comes to these more complicated areas, the quality of your repairs will depend on how well you can craft a patch form or scaffold that accurately reflects the desired shape. You will also need to remove this element from the concrete once your patch is applied.
If you are faced with an advanced or complicated concrete repair, it is best to leave the concrete repair process to the experts. They have the necessary tools to create a sharp, defined and well-measured shape that creates a seamless blend with the existing material. The last thing you want is to create part of a staircase step, only for it to crumble off when you later use it.
Trust The Experts To Help You Properly Repair Concrete For Long-Lasting Results
Repairing concrete can seem like a simple and straightforward DIY project, but much skill goes into making robust concrete elements that will stand the test of time. Why not leave this task up to professionals so that you can dedicate your time to other things that matter more? The professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can tackle your concrete crack repair project for long-lasting results. Reach out to schedule an appointment to get started.