How to Repair Cracks in Concrete

Cracks in a concrete driveway While it often seems to be straightforward, many concrete repairs are much more than meets the eye.  In the concrete repair community, it’s been said that half of all repairs last no longer than 2 years. 

We will help you determine how to make a few basic repairs, and some steps you can take to make sure your repairs last.

This will show you how to Fix Broken Concrete and Steps to Repair Concrete Surfaces.

1.  Make sure you know what is causing the damage. 

Sometimes, you don’t know what really is causing the damage.  Could there be heavy weight passing over the concrete without your knowledge?  Is weather causing problems?

When you know the cause of the damage, half the battle is over. Otherwise, you might find yourself making the same repair in just a short amount of time.

2.  If the crack is a narrow one, do the following: 

Clear all loose debris from inside and nearby the crack.

Fill the crack with a masonry crack filler sized to fit in a caulk gun.  You can also try vinyl concrete patching compound.  Be sure to level off the filler concrete with the existing concrete.

3.  If the crack is large, the process becomes a little more complex:

In order to effectively repair a larger crack, “undercutting” is necessary.  Undercutting is when you make the crack wider at the bottom than the top in order to strengthen the repair.  Using a hammer and chisel will do the job.

Brush away all loose debris with a wire brush, and wash the area off with water.

Mix the patching compound according to manufacturer specification and apply with a trowel.  Tamp the mixture after application in order to eliminate air pockets.

Smooth the mixture.

When the mixture has set, smooth the surface so that it matches the surrounding concrete.

4.  If the edges of concrete steps have crumbled, do the following:

Remove all debris from the area with a thorough brushing.

Undercut the edges of the damaged area with a hammer and chisel.

Create a makeshift form by securing a piece of wood tightly against the side of the step.  Ensure the top of the wooden form is even with the top of the steps.  Use heavy objects such as bricks to hold the form in place.

The form holds the concrete in place and also acts a guide for smoothing the top of the concrete.

Mix your patching compound as directed by the manufacturer and use a trowel to apply it to the appropriate area.  Tamp the mixture in order to remove air pockets.

Smooth the mixture to be even with the top of the step, using the wooden form as a guide.

When the patch sets, remove the form and brush the patch until it matches the surrounding concrete.

Conclusion

Maintaining concrete is not a difficult task, but repairing it is.  Take the time to properly care for your concrete surfaces and you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your material. If you need to fix broken concrete, research the problem first to find out the best repair method, and only use top quality chemical products.

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