Concrete is known for its durability. However, concrete can still crack and crumble over time due to exposure to weather, wear and tear, and even settlement. Knowing what to do when you spot signs of damage can help keep your concrete in good shape and avoid costly repairs.
Steps In Fixing Cracks In Your Concrete
When you find cracks in your concrete, don’t panic. There are a few steps to take to repair the cracks so you can go back to enjoying your patio.
Decide Which Concrete Repair Product You Will Use
You will need to select the appropriate concrete repair product depending on the crack’s size, depth, and severity.
Epoxy compounds, latex patching material, and masonry crack elastomeric filler are all suitable for fixing cracks no wider than ⅛-inch.
Mortar mixes are best suited for wide cracks that are deeper than ¼-inch.
Prepare the Cracked Area for Patching
After selecting the appropriate concrete repair product, you will need to prepare the cracked area before patching. Begin by cleaning out the crack with a wire brush or vacuum to remove loose concrete, dirt, or debris. If the sides of the crack are uneven, you can use a chisel and hammer to even them out.
If using a chisel and hammer, chip to a depth of about one inch below the surface plane so that the repair material will have something to adhere to. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when chiseling concrete. Make sure you’ve removed all loose debris before proceeding to the next step. To facilitate cleaning, use a tarp or drop cloth to catch debris as you work.
Sometimes, a seemingly narrow crack can be quite deep. Stuff a foam rod or backer rod into the crack to take up space before patching. The backer rod provides a barrier between the patching material and the concrete so that the repair will last longer. It also helps prevent the patching material from seeping into larger cracks.
You can also use a pressure washer or a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clean out the crack.
Use Your Chosen Product To Fix the Crack
Once the area is clean and prepped, you can begin repairing the crack. First, you must mix the fixing products according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, keep these tips in mind:
- For epoxy compounds, you can use an epoxy injection kit to apply the epoxy. These kits come with a hand-held caulk gun that mixes the two epoxy components as you squeeze the trigger.
- Latex patching material can be applied using a putty knife or trowel.
- Masonry crack elastomeric filler is applied similarly to the latex patching material. Use a putty knife or trowel to scoop out some of the filler and press it into the crack.
- Mortar mixes are applied using a trowel. First, wet the crack with a hose or sponge to ensure that the mortar will adhere properly.
Quick Fix for Any Concrete Problem
If you’re in Merced or the surrounding areas, you don’t have to worry about doing all the work yourself. AM Construction and Concrete is a family-owned business that provides high-quality concrete services. We specialize in concrete repair, so whether you have a patio that needs resurfacing or cracks that need to be filled, we can help.