How To Fix Cracked Concrete Patio
When you go out to sit in your backyard, the last thing you want to see is a cracked patio. Cracked patios are an eyesore and most people have no idea what to do to fix it.
Well go through why your patio gets cracks and what you can do to repair it so you can start enjoying your backyard again.
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What Is The Best Concrete Patio Coating
Types of Overlay SystemsTime: 02:24Compare types of systems and learn which one is right for your patio project.
Concrete patio coatings come in a variety of options and should be chosen based on the type of work you need done.
- Patio paint is the least expensive option for bringing color to your patio. It does not handle wear and tear as well as other options and will need to be replaced more often.
- Epoxy coatings protect your surface from water and can handle some wear and tear. This coating can also bring a bold color palette to your surface.
- Stamped concrete overlays add color, pattern and texture to your patio, while also enhancing the durability and strength of the surface.
- Microtoppings are a thin layer of cement that gives your concrete a new canvas for decorative ideas. Some even come pre-tinted for an easy change in color.
Essentials For Prepping Your Patio
Next, use a liquid cleanser and long-handled, nylon-bristle brush to scrub the patio clean of any remaining dust and dirt. You can buy cleansing solutions specifically made for masonry surfaces, but its more economical to make your own:
Before proceeding any further, you must wait for the patio to dry completely. To determine when the surface is sufficiently dry, try this simple moisture test: Using painter’s tape, affix a 12-inch-square piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap flush against the concrete surface, making sure to seal all four edges. Wait 24 hours, then peel up the square. If the underside surface of the foil or plastic wrap is dry and free of condensation, youre ready to apply the floor paint. If not, wait a little while longer and retest the surface.
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Concrete Hero To The Rescue
Concrete Hero offers homeowners looking to bring new life to their concrete patio or driveway a 4-step Revival System which includes raising settled slabs with our PolyLift system, power washing the surface clean, caulking cracks and joints and finally applying a sealer. The cost for a typical patio revival ranges $900-$1,600 depending on the amount of lifting needed and the work takes 1-2 days to complete. Below our some recent patios we completed.
Concrete Hero is a family owned and operated concrete repair and protection company that specializes in raising, sealing, coatings and replacement. Service area includes such cities Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Algonquin, St Charles, Elgin and surrounding communities. If you are interested in receiving a free estimate for your patio or give us a call at 630-940-2805.
Cracks Resulting From Slab Overload
Even though concrete presents a very strong building and construction material, there are limits to it. If you place an excessive weight over the concrete slab, you might experience cracks.
Sometimes, concrete is classified in terms of strength. For instance, a strength of 3000, 4000, or 5000+ PSI refers to the pounds per square inch itll require to crush a concrete slab.
The solution to this type of crack is to stop overloading your concrete slab.
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Veneering And Extensive Veneering
Veneering is the process of creating a new top layer of concrete to fill in any gaps or dips on the surface of the old patio. To get the new layer to adhere, you should rough up the surface where the repair is needed using a hammer and chisel.
Another way to ensure the top layer sticks is to drill a series of holes in the concrete with a masonry drill. Once you have prepared the surface, add your thin mix of mortar and carefully smooth it so it matches the level of the old patio, and leave it to cure for 30 minutes.
The last task is to take a brush to the surface after 30 minutes to finish it off. Extensive veneering is the same process just performed over the entire patio.
You will need to remove loose concrete and dust and then build a box frame around the edge of the patio about 2 or 3 inches above the current surface level. Next, you should add a layer of sand to any depressions and cracks and pat it down.
Pour the concrete mix and allow it to cure for the recommended time, using a trowel or brush to finish off the surface.
Add A Beautiful Outdoor Rug
The easiest way to make over a concrete patio is to invest in a large and striking outdoor rug. Heres a great example. The eye will instantly go to the rug and the concrete patio will disappear into the background. Put some great outdoor furniture on top of the rug and youve got yourself an outdoor space you can be proud of. If you like a beachy color scheme of blue and white, youll love this rug.
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Option : Replace The Whole Thing
The first way most homeowners think of to address their settling patio is to simply replace it. Seems simple enough, right?
But this method is not so simple. Replacing the entire patio will first require you to remove any furniture you may have on the surface, as well as any plants or landscaping which may be along the borders. Then youre in for lots of labor, new materials, and foot traffic through your property. Even though it seems like the most obvious choice, replacing the whole patio is the most expensive and time consuming option on the table. So what else can you do?
The 5 Basic Steps To Concrete Resurfacing
Remove all the loose, crumbling, cracked, and broken pieces of concrete first. You can do this by lightly grinding like we do or by using a good pressure washer, 3500 psi or more.
If you grind like we do, lightly pressure wash the concrete afterwards to remove all the dust & debris leftover by grinding.
Patch & repair all cracks, chips, and broken areas over 1/4″ deep or deeper before resurfacing. You can use the resurfacing product for this or another concrete patch product. Lightly sand or rubbing stone it smooth after it sets up.
Lightly dampen the concrete and apply the first coating of resurfacing material. You can trowel it or squeegee it over the surface.
Don’t try to be too perfect, just consistent. IF you have any lines, you can sand them out before doing the 2nd coat.
As soon as the first coating is dry, you can apply the 2nd, finish coat. Lightly mist the surface with water and mix and apply the second coating just like the first one.
Apply your broom finish right after you trowel/squeegee it down.
Seal the new concrete with a concrete sealer to protect it! Spray or roll on two very light coats of sealer to help your new concrete surface last for a long time.
You can use a clear sealer or a tinted one like I’m using in the picture!
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The Right Way To Repair And Resurface Eroded Concrete
Q: Ive got problems with some of the concrete on the outside of my home as well as in my garage. There are lots of places where the top finish and layer of the concrete has eroded away. I think its called spalling. Its worse in some areas than others. My biggest question is if I should transform my concrete garage floor by installing a fancy epoxy coating. They look marvelous in my opinion. What are the pros and cons of this? How would you repair all the other wretched concrete outdoors?
Steve H., Sylvania, Ohio
A: Unsightly concrete is an increasingly common problem, if my incoming email is any indication.
First, lets discuss a few of the primary reasons spalling happens to some concrete but not to other concrete nearby. That should be your first clue that the problem probably is poor workmanship.
Concrete is simply artificial rock. Three of the 4 ingredients in basic concrete are or were rock at one point. The aggregate is made up of small stones. The sand is made from thousands of tiny pieces of rock in almost all cases. The Portland cement is powdered rock, primarily limestone and shale. The only ingredient that’s not rock is water. You need the water to ignite the chemical reaction that transforms the powdered Portland cement back into solid rock again.
Fix Your Cracked Uneven Concrete Patio
Assuming you have chosen a repair product that you like, it is time to fix your cracked uneven concrete patio. How do you fix an uneven patio?
If you chose late or epoxy, following the instructions below:
Apply latex or epoxy patching product to concrete cracks that are 1/8 inches wide. Mix it according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
The material will go on either a putty knife or masons trowel. Whichever the case, force the mixture all the way deep into the cracks and then smooth it level with the concrete surface.Note that different repair mixes cure in a different way, and therefore, make sure you follow the directions on the product label or manual.
For mortar repair mix, follow the directions below:
If you are dealing with larger cracks on your concrete patio, you want to use a mortar mix. Thankfully, you can create your own mortar mix using Portland cement, water, and three parts masonry sand.
But if you feel this is a lot of work, you can always purchase one from home stores or even online.
To get started, moisten the damaged area, but do not soak it, then apply the repaired product using either a putty knife or masons trowel.
Make sure you remove pockets of air from the applied product by pressing down the putty knife or masons trowel firmly.
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I Love The Look Of Stamped Concrete Can An Overlay Also Be Stamped And Colored
Absolutely! With stampable overlays, which are typically applied at a thickness of up to 3/4 inch, you can use the same stamping mats and texturing skins used for traditional stamped concrete to produce patterns and textures that mimic stone, brick, slate, and other materials. Texturing skins produce a seamless texture with no grout lines while mats produce a deeper pattern with well-defined lines. You can also add color using the same dry-shake color hardeners and antiquing releases used for typical stamped concrete.
Determining The Size Of The Crack
The size of your break is vital to determine what repair type youll use, and the materials to cover up the split.
Some of the most common splits in concrete are:
- True break They have different sizes and have considerable depth and width
- Hairline break They are mostly surface splits meaning they are always shallow and quite narrow.
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Floating Concrete Slab Characteristics:
In the sketch at above left, the floor slab is simply floating sitting atop gravel and soil inside the foundation wall.
This is an idealized sketch.
The authors first construction job consisted of raking roughly level loose-fill dirt inside of building foundations.
Over several summers of this labor we never once saw anyone using a soil compactor and rarely did we see gravel poured inside of the foundation walls before the slab was poured.
The bad news about typical floating slab construction is that anything that causes the soil to settle risks slab cracking and settlement. Flooding, leaks, or simply poor handling of roof and surface runoff can send water under a building where it causes loose soil to settle.
The good news about cracks in floating slab construction is that the damage is to the floor, not to the structure that is supporting the building.
Only if you see a floor slab crack that continues up in the foundation wall where the crack meets the wall would the structure be obviously involved.
More good news: if there is significant soil settlement under a floating slab, the slab is likely to break and follow the settling soil downwards a sudden precipitous collapse of a floating slab is less likely than the next case we describe.
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Stain The Concrete To Look Like Tile
If you love the look of tiles but not the hard work or the expense, you could stain the concrete to look like tile! Use 1/2 inch tape to create grout lines on the floor and then stain over it. Peel off the tape and ta-da, instant tile! Just make sure to clean it beforehand and seal it afterwards and youll have a concrete patio that looks nothing like concrete.
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Prep The Area For Staining
Now that the concrete is clean, make sure your shoes are, too, before you walk on the patio again. The surrounding ground will be wet from concrete cleaning. We changed into a pair of clean, dry shoes to work on the patio. Before cracking open the stain, shield the lower portion of the house and any nearby landscaping materials to protect against drifting spray. Tape plastic film along the siding. You don’t have to protect plants and grass if you don’t want to . If any dirt gets on the patio after you’ve cleaned it, brush the concrete lightly with a broom to avoid pushing the dirt into the surface.
How To Fix Cracks In Concrete
The band-aid fix for repairing cracks in concrete is the simple mixing of a polymer-modified cement product in a bucket with water, then wiping the mud over the cracks with a trowel. Doing so is neither a structurally sound solution nor a long-term fix, but it will suffice if the cracks are merely symptoms of the maturation process of concrete small cracks that occur as concrete dries when the mix is over-hydrated. But, a quick fix is not adequate if the cracks are the product of pressure or torque from an outside agent like a tree root or ground swell.
Traditionally, fixing cracks in concrete properly required the removal of the crack all together, a job that entails removing the concrete around the cracks and re-pouring the section. However, in instances where the concrete supports substantial weight or is supported by rebar, removing concrete can weaken the structural integrity of the concrete and lead to further damage.
Fortunately, todays epoxies are so advanced that, once cured, epoxy often has greater tensile strength than concrete. That means taking a chance of affecting the structural integrity of a wall or flat work is minimized to a great extent through the use of industrial epoxy. However, using epoxy while it can slow or prevent the growth of cracks does not produce the same cosmetic consistency as removing the cracks completely and beginning anew on a cracked portion of concrete.
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How To Repair Settled Concrete
A majority of homes have concrete sidewalks, patios or driveways around them. If it does, there is a good chance that this concrete has settled over time as well. This settled concrete is unsightly, takes away from the value of your home, causes water in your basement and creates potential safety hazards like pooling water and tripping hazards.
Part of determining how to repair settled concrete is understanding why the concrete settled in the first place. It is caused by a number of issues, ranging from how the concrete was constructed, soil it is sitting on, poor grading around it, poorly placed downspouts and even animal damage. Essentially concrete settles because the subgrade, the area beneath the concrete, has been compromised in one of the ways mentioned above leaving a void that causes the settlement and often times cracks the concrete along the way.
Why Home Inspections Are Importanthow Do You Fix A Cracked Uneven Concrete Patio
Fixing a cracked, uneven concrete patio is a straightforward process. However, the replacement process may call for evaluating and assessing the situation and concrete repair solutions available at your disposal.
You should note there is no one-solutions-fits-all solution to fix the problem. Even though you can do everything by yourself, we recommend calling a professional for quality repairs. Below are different ways you can cover a cracked, uneven concrete patio:
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Add Curves With Pavers
A square concrete slab is standard, but you can add curves around your concrete patio with the help of pavers. For instance, you could add a half circle to one side to create a fire pit area. Or use pavers to border off a circular garden at one corner of your patio.
This is such a pretty way to make over a concrete patio.