Concrete is an extremely durable material, but harsh weather conditions and normal wear and tear can damage it sometimes. Cracked and broken down concrete brings down the aesthetic of your home, and it’s easy to repair.
Before beginning any concrete repair, clean the area really well, and scrub out the crack or break with a wire brush. Hollow out the damaged area with a chisel, trying to make the opening a little smaller than the space underneath. This will give your new concrete a firm hold so the repair will last longer. Clean the space out again, and let it dry before you begin your repair.
Cracks and Minor Problems
When filling in cracks and holes in your concrete, you need to use a vinyl patching compound that will adhere to your existing slab. If you’re using regular concrete, add a bonding agent to the mix, or apply concrete adhesive to the sides of the crack. Once you’ve mixed up your concrete:
Tamp the mixture down to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Leaving air in the mixture will weaken the repair.
If the crack is narrow, use a masonry crack filler to squeeze the concrete mixture into it. If the crack is large, use a trowel scoop up the concrete and fill the hole.
Smooth the repair with a trowel, and scrape away any excess, leaving behind a smooth surface.
When the new concrete has set, but before it fully hardens, smooth the surface or add texture to match the surrounding area.
Keep traffic away from the patch until it has properly cured.
Corners and Edges
If your concrete is damaged on an edge or corner, you’ll need to create a form for your repair. If it’s a simple edge you’re fixing, propping a piece of wood up against the edge so it’s flush with the top will do the trick. Hold it in place with some bricks or something heavy, and you’re ready to go. For a corner, you’ll need to create a right angle by securing two pieces of wood together. Once your frame is in place, follow the same steps above to complete the repair. Remove the form after the concrete has set up, but before it has fully cured so you can smooth and texture the spot.
Repairing a Slab
If the damage to your slab is extensive, it may be a better idea to replace the whole thing, or at least a large section. To do this, a portion or all of your slab will need to be broken up with a sledgehammer and removed. New forms can be built, and a new slab poured in its place.
While this type of repair is a lot more work, it can really spruce up the curb appeal of your home. Consult with a licensed contractor to get a few tips for your individual project, or let the pros handle it if you’re not into a job that big. Your contractor may also decide that doing a thin overlay on top of your existing slab is the quicker, less expensive way to repair the slab. While simple repairs can be done by beginner concrete workers, oftentimes it is best to hire professionals to repair more severely damaged concrete. Hard Rock Concrete Coatings specializes in repairing damaged concrete. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.