How Do I Repair Concrete?

Many people think that concrete can only be repaired with heavy-duty tools like a jackhammer and bulldozer, but the truth is you can easily renew a concrete surface with the right tools and know how. Today, we’ll go over some of the easiest and reliable ways to make your concrete look new again. 

While you won’t need any heavy machinery, there are a few tools that are crucial for concrete repair. Make sure you have a cold chisel, ball-peen hammer and sledge hammer on hand. Of course, anytime you are chipping away at something it’s a good idea to have protective goggles and gloves. You are also going to want a broom and towel to clean up your space. 

The first step is to assess the damage. What is it that you need to repair? How many cracks are there? Is this damage even repairable? Remember, one of the most important components of concrete is its durability. If a concrete foundation has numerous cracks, repairing all of them might compromise the concrete’s durability to a point where it would just need to be replaced. 

If your concrete looks repairable, the next step is to prepare the cracks for repair. That means taking your chisel and chipping away at all the debris in the crack. Oftentimes that actually involves widening the crack a bit at the top. That’s ok! The goal is to get a clean workspace clear of debris since any crumbs or pebbles that are stuck in there will weaken the repair. A wire brush can be really useful for this step. 

Once the crack has been cleaned, it’s time to fill it with a patching mix! There are a lot of patching mixes out there, but it doesn’t particularly matter which brand you choose. Just make sure that the mix includes vinyl, cement and sand. Depending on the timeframe you have for the repair, you may want to consider using a fast-drying mix so you don’t have to wait days for the patch to dry. 

Before you apply the patching mix it’s important that you moisten the area around the crack with water. Take a hose and spray down the area before pouring the mix. Skipping this step can cause your repair to crack, defeating the entire purpose of the repair. 

Once you have poured the mix, take a putty knife or trowel and smooth the surface. If you are spreading concrete over a larger area like patio or a driveway, use a long-handle squeegee to smooth the surface. 

If you are looking to repair a larger problem than a crack, it is possible but requires a bit more know how. If, for example, an entire portion of your patio or sidewalk has come off you’ll have to do some reforming instead of simple repairs. In that case, you may want to reach out to a concrete professional like Razorback Concrete! Visit www.razorbackconcrete.com to learn more. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/masonry/21016541/how-to-renew-concrete-surfaces

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