If you’ve spent much time on this blog, you’ll already know that concrete is one of the toughest and most durable construction materials out there. However, that doesn’t mean it’s totally impervious to developing cracks. This can be especially true in the case of improper installation or excessive abuse
A crack in your concrete may seem like just a small blemish, but it can decrease your home’s value, and if left un-repaired and allowed to develop further, can lead to more serious damages that aren’t just cosmetic.
But don’t worry! Concrete is relatively easy to repair on your own. There are many different concrete repair kits available at your local hardware store. Epoxy is the top choice for this job. This material is great because it cures quickly, can be applied in sub-zero temperatures, and is actually even stronger than concrete! This stuff is usually satisfactory for lasting repairs, but depending on the initial cause of the crack, you may need bigger repairs down the road.
Common Causes of Cracks
- Settling: If the base of the concrete surface wasn’t compacted properly before beginning the pouring process, you could run into issues with settling. When the concrete begins to settle unevenly over time, you could end up developing a crack.
- Shrinking: Concrete naturally shrinks when it dries, and this is usually accounted for. However, if the initial mix was too wet or not allowed to cure properly, then the concrete can develop cracks due to this shrinking process.
- Winter Weather: Cold temperatures can be hard on concrete. If the earth underneath a concrete surface is allowed to freeze, it can expand. The expanding dirt will then lift the concrete and cause cracks to develop.
With these common causes of cracks in your concrete in mind, it’s important to remember that any repairs may only be a temporary fix. If the underlying cause of the crack is not remedied you may continue to develop cracks as time goes on. Unfortunately, sometimes the only real fix is to remove the concrete and have it re-installed.
Repairing Cracked Concrete
- While it may sound counterintuitive, the key to repairing a crack in your concrete surface is actually to make it bigger. You will want to use a hammer and chisel to widen out the base of the crack while leaving the top edges closer together.
- Use a brush to clear and dust or debris from inside the crack. A vacuum works well for this, to make sure any clear any loose material from the crack in order to ensure a good seal from the epoxy.
- Use a sponge or damp cloth to wash the area clean away any remaining dirt or dust.
- Apply some repair epoxy into the crack.
- Use dry silica sand to fill the crack.
- Use more epoxy to wet the sand and fill the crack all the way up.
- After about 15 minutes, use a putty knife to scrape off any excess sand/epoxy mix, leaving the surface smooth.
- You can use some sandpaper to clean up your work and smooth it further.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully repaired your concrete. If you aren’t complete satisfied with your home repair job, call the professionals at Pacific Concrete Patio and Driveway, and we will come to fix it right up!