Getting started is the hardest part
The very thought of laying concrete floors and slabs can give some people nightmares. Repairing them can be just as challenging. To make concrete projects easier to complete, try breaking down the job into smaller tasks. Using the divide and conquer approach, start your project one small step at a time.
With some elbow grease and a few tips, you will have your project done in no time at all!
Repairing cracks in concrete
Concrete can stand the test of time, but extreme changes in weather can cause cracks that range from tiny to canyon-sized. If the driveway, garage or patio needs a little maintenance, now is a good time to get started.
First, get a few supplies together. Here are the materials and tools you need to get the job done:
- Cement mixture
- Concrete caulking or sealer
- Wire brush
The first thing to do before filling the crack is to prepare the crack. Start by cleaning the crack with the chisel and wire brush. With the chisel, remove loose pieces of concrete from the sides of the crack. Then use the wire brush to sweep debris out of it.
For very small cracks, apply the concrete caulking to the crack. For larger cracks use the concrete mixture. Now, use the trowel to compress the concrete and push it into the crack.
If the cracked surface is made of aggregate, add some sand to the wet concrete and smooth its surface out by rolling a heavy object over the filled crack. Let the newly applied concrete cure before walking or driving on the surface. It will take a day or two, depending on the size of the crack. Finally, apply water sealer to the repaired crack.
Finishing a concrete slab
It may seem like a lot to take on, but this project is absolutely doable. If the concrete surface is structurally sound, there will be no need to use a skid steer saw or anything similar.
It is actually a relatively simple job that needs a little time and a good eye. Here are the basics:
Buy a concrete resurfacing product. Usually, it is sold in powder form. Resurfacing products make the job go much faster. The other tools you will need are:
- Garden hose and bucket that can hold at least 5 gallons
- Mixing paddle
- A squeegee with a long handle
- Half-inch drill
- Concrete edger
- Power washer and broom
Concrete resurfacing products are a cosmetic finish that is meant to be applied as a thin layer: The thickest it should be is a half inch. Here is how to apply it:
First, clean the surface to remove debris and stains. If the stains are stubborn, cover them with sealant. Protect any joints with duct tape.
Pour 6 pints of water into the plastic bucket. Add 40 pounds of resurfacing and mix. The result should be a smooth consistent mixture. The mixture solidifies in about 20 minutes.
Starting at the center of the surface and working towards the edges, apply the mixture by pouring small amounts and spreading it out with the squeegee. Divide the surface into segments to make the job easier. Use the edger to remove uneven concrete from the edges. If it needs a second layer, wait for at least three hours before repeating the process.
Home repairs can be easy
With the right tools and the right technique, home repairs can be done with little hassle. Give it a try and see what happens.