For many modern and traditional properties, concrete is a major part of the building structure as well as the grounds of the property. Whilst concrete is particularly durable against whatever nature has to throw at it, over time (like any building material) concrete becomes worn and cracked. But is repairing or patching concrete something you can do yourself? And if so, how can this be achieved to correct damage, resolving everything from hairline cracks to larger areas?
The home remodelling and concrete experts at ReadyMix Concrete are here to help with their guide to DIY concrete repair.
Resolving Hairline Cracks
Hairline cracks are a common occurrence in concrete throughout residential, commercial and even industrial properties but unbeknown to many you don’t have to call in a professional to fix these and can use this ‘how to’ to fill in hairline cracks with minimal time, money and effort.
A high quality grout can be added to hairline cracks to make your concrete patio, wall or driveway as good as new again, simply add enough water to make a thick paste. Before applying the thickened grout mixture, you must first moisten the old concrete which lines the crack to prevent the old concrete drawing water from the grout solution and making it less adhesive. Add water to the hairline crack and allow to settle for 4 to 6 hours or until all the surface water has disappeared. Now it’s time to add the grout, use a knife or pointed trowel to apply the grout into the crack, level the grout at the surface and apply the original concrete to the surface to finish.
Hairline Crack Aftercare
The patched area must be allowed to dry for 2 to 3 hours and then must be covered with a board or plastic sheeting for approximately 5 days. Each day apply a sprinkling of water to the area to keep it moist until the entire area has fully dried. The sheeting or board can then be removed and your concrete walked on as usual.
Repairing your Damaged Driveway
Driveways are notorious for cracked and damaged concrete due to the amount of usage from heavy loads. Particular care must be taken during repair to ensure that your newly resurfaced concrete driveway can withstand pressure from a single vehicle or multiple vehicles. When repairing driveways many individuals use a sand mix, however, we recommend a sand and gravel mix for hole and crack repairs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to create this mixture and allow to set partially whilst preparing the affected area.
Before applying the mixture, clean the damaged area thoroughly and then undercut so it is wider at the bottom than it is at the top. Giving the damaged area more depth and width will ensure that the sand and gravel solution can get as far down into the crevice as possible for a stronger repair that can take more pressure. When undercutting make sure you remove any loose debris and dust from the crack using a wire brush, hose or tyre pump. Add a concrete adhesive to the undercut hole to ensure better cohesion between the new and old concrete, and allow to dry slightly before adding the sand and gravel mix.
Applying the Patch Mix
When applying your sand and gravel mix to the undercut hole in your damaged driveway, you can do so with a trowel or float. Each will give a different finish so choose a metal trowel for a smooth and seamless look or a wooden float for a rough finish to match your wider driveway. Allow the patch mix to set for 2 to 3 hours, then cover for 5 days with daily water sprinkling. This process can also be used to repair larger cracks in walls or sidewalks.
Still unsure about how to repair damaged concrete? Contact ReadyMix Concrete for impartial advice.