How To Repair Damage To Your Concrete Surfaces
Keeping your concrete surfaces maintained and in good repair can help them to last many years and help your yard to look well taken care of. Here are instructions to help you make some repairs to your damaged and cracked concrete.
Cracks within your concrete surface can be filled and repaired to prevent further damage from occurring. First, use a wire brush to remove and loosen any crumbling areas of concrete. Then, with a shop vacuum, suck up any dust and debris from inside the crack.
Use a tube of mortar repair in a caulk gun to fill the smaller-sized cracks. You can find this at most home improvement stores. With the caulk gun press the mortar repair into the crack and smooth the surface with your finger.
If the crack is too large to fill with the mortar repair, you will need to use a small bag of dry concrete repair. Mix up the bagged concrete repair in a bucket according to the product's instructions, and use a trowel to press it into the crack. Fill the crack to the surrounding concrete and smooth it level with your trowel.
After your patched crack has dried or cured, seal it with a concrete sealer. It is especially important to fill and seal off cracks to prevent moisture from entering the cracks, as the moisture can freeze and cause the concrete to form cracks again.
Spalling is when concrete crumbles and flakes when the concrete has set and cured under not the best of conditions. Freezing temperatures that cause the water in the concrete mixture to freeze and the concrete to not cure. Excessive heat can cause the water in the concrete mixture to evaporate and the concrete to dry out too quickly, also leading to improper curing. For this reason, select a time to complete your concrete repairs when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees F. If you are completing the repairs during summer, do your concrete repairs during the morning time before the temperature heats up. You can also set up an awning or cover to shade your work area and keep the concrete patch cool in the outside heat.
Remove the Damage
As long as the majority of your concrete is in good condition, you can complete repairs to only the damaged sections. Use an electric circular saw with a masonry blade to cut around the damaged areas. Be sure to wear gloves, a dust mask, and goggles to protect yourself, as the saw will kick up abrasive concrete dust into the air. You can place a running garden hose onto your work area while you cut with the saw, which will help keep down the concrete dust.
As you cut around the area of damage, your cuts only need to extend down to a depth of 3/8 inch. Next, use a chisel and hammer to break out the damaged area of concrete to remove all the spalling in the old concrete. Last, clean the area of any dust or concrete debris so the new concrete will adhere well to the repair area. It can be helpful to use an outdoor shop vacuum to do this.
Patch the Hole
Now you can mix up your concrete patching material from dry bagged concrete mix and the appropriate amount of water according to the product's instructions. For larger repairs, you can mix up the concrete in a wheelbarrow or concrete mixer. For smaller repair jobs, mix up your concrete in a five-gallon bucket. You can find the dry bagged concrete mix at most home improvement stores.
Moisten the damaged area of concrete with a wet rag to help the new patch adhere. Using a trowel fill in the hole with new concrete mixture, pressing it into all the cracks and crevices inside the damaged area. Smooth the top of the concrete patch so it is slightly higher than the surrounding concrete. Then, slide the edge of a two-by-four across the surface of the patch to smooth it level with the rest of the concrete. Make sure the two-by-four is slightly longer in length than the patch area so you can create a smooth and even surface.
Allow the patch to harden and cure according to the product's directions. You may need to block off the area to foot traffic so your repair is not damaged during curing.
Use this information to make repairs to your concrete damage. Visit websites like http://www.claggett.net for more info.