Simple Tips for Making Concrete Repairs on Your Property
Most homeowners can handle simple concrete repair jobs on their own, from patching cracks in a walkway to smoothing over a pitted garage floor. While the job may be simple enough, it's good to know every little trick and tip you can to ensure the finished product looks its best and lasts as long as possible. Note a few of those simple tips and tricks you might try the next time you need to patch up some concrete on your property.
1. Use Form Fillers
If you're patching a crack in a sidewalk or garage, don't use too much patching compound to fill the crack itself, as it may settle into the crack and not adhere to the old concrete as it should. Instead, use a form filler. Foam backer rods are available at most hardware stores and these can be cut to size and then pushed down into the crack before it's filled. They provide a solid base for your patching compound and can keep the patchwork from shifting once it's dried.
2. Fill Cracks Before Adding a Resurfacing Material
If you're going to resurface a pitted garage floor, you will usually use a resurfacing material. This is like a thick paint that goes over the garage floor and dries and hardens to be solid. However, you don't want this material to settle into cracks or large holes in the floors, as this can mean an uneven and bumpy surface. Instead, repair the cracks or large holes by filling them in with concrete patching material first. Once that patchwork has dried and hardened, you can then apply the resurfacing material.
3. Raise Sunken Portions of Concrete Before Patching
If one side of the cracked or broken concrete to be repaired is lower than the other, you need to raise this sunken portion before patching. Your patching material should not be applied to an uneven surface, as it will then continue to look uneven once it's dried, and this uneven surface may increase the risk of the patching material itself actually cracking.
You also want to correct the problem that has caused one side of the concrete to sink; if the soil is overly soft because of poor drainage on that side of your driveway or walkway, you'll want to have the property graded if necessary. Otherwise, your driveway or walkway or other areas of concrete will just continue to sink and crack.
However, if you find the job to be a bit too overwhelming, consider hiring a concrete repair specialist.