Tips For Carrying Out Your Own Concrete Repairs

What technique you use to repair concrete will primarily depend on the crack’s location. There are a few different categories of cracks and are mainly categorized in terms of their size and location. Most concrete repairs entail patching cracks which depends on the size of a given crack. Once the nature of a crack has been determined a number of steps will need to be followed in order to fix it. The vast majority of cracks are a result of thermal movement, the shrinking of the concrete as it dries or excessive load on it. Most foundation cracks will become wider over time and may result in water seeping in or even in severe cases loss of a structure’s structural integrity. So, the sooner you repair these cracks the more time and money you will save later on.

 Materials you will need 

You will need a handful of tools and materials in order to start doing concrete repairs. We have put together a list of everything you will need both in the way of tools and materials below.

  • Concrete patch mixture
  • Concrete sealer
  • Cold chisel
  • Hammer
  • Caulking gun
  • Broom
  • Whisk broom
  • gloves
  • safety goggles
  • trowel

 Repairing wide Cracks 

Repairing large or wide cracks requires precision and a bit of skill. You will need to precisely undercut the crack using a hammer and chisel. The objective is to widen the crack slightly which creates a keyed surface so that the patch can be placed more securely and reliably. Keep chiseling away till you see that the crack now has a wide base, then clean using a wire brush and dab with a damp cloth. The idea is to remove all the small particles which prevent the adhesive from properly bonding with the concrete surface you apply it on.

Now mix the patching compound but make sure to read the instructions by the manufacturer because every compound has its own mixing instructions which should be followed. Once you’ve mixed it, just trowel this compound on the crack. Tap the mixture as much as you can to remove all the air pockets from it because air pockets can end up causing the formation of an uneven bond. Then once you’ve added as much compound as possible and the crack has been filled just smooth the mixture over and wait for the patch to set. Once its set, just brush the surface.

Once the concrete has been properly patched the next important step is to seal it. Keep in mind that concrete repairs is incomplete without a good seal because concrete is a major stain absorber. There are quite a few concrete sealing products out there but the best choice today is to use some heavy duty water based polyurethane.

 Concrete repairs for narrow or fine cracks 

If you see many narrow cracks around your concrete floor the good news is that they are easier to repair than wide cracks. Only use the very best products and you’ll get years is not decades of service life from your concrete surface regardless of what its used for.

 To repair narrow cracks start by removing all the debris from the crack that you’re about to work on. A wire brush or a regular broom can be used to remove all the dust and even lose paint which may be surrounding the surface. Then rinse the area thoroughly so that its absolutely crystal clean.

 You can fill narrow concrete cracks using a bit of masonry crack elastomeric filler which can easily be applied via caulking gun. However, if the cracks are more like hairline cracks then these can be patched using some vinyl concrete patching compound which is at first rubbed over the cracks and then smoothed over with either a knife or some other tool. If you choose to use vinyl concrete patching compound do not have to use a bonding agent over the surface. So that obviously saves you an extra step and some time too.

There are some types of cracks and damage to concrete which cannot be repaired by regular people using over counter products. In cases like these its best to hire a professional for the job.

For More Information –

Tom is one of the leading experts on concrete repairs. He has been a mason for several years and has written extensively about various repair techniques. He currently runs his own concrete repair service.