Unsightly cracks in your concrete can result from harsh weather conditions, shifts in the ground, and other stressors. The longer you wait to fix them, the worse the problem gets, meaning it pays to fix and repair the issue quickly. With this DIY fix, you can repair your own concrete cracks in just a few simple steps.
Clean and Prep
Begin by cleaning away any debris or oil; it can interfere with how well your repair will take. Scrub superficial cracks using a metal brush, and use a hammer and chisel to widen the space underneath deeper grooves. This will give your repairs more surface area to adhere to and help to solidify the patch. Sweep away any remaining debris, or vacuum the area thoroughly. When you’re satisfied the area is clean, you’re ready to start patching.
Pick a Bonding Agent
Repairs can fail when the new surface areas only bond superficially with the repair materials. For this reason, it’s a good idea to apply a bonding agent before you fill your cracks. You can buy an acrylic bonding agent, or you can create a paint using Portland cement. Just add water to the cement mix until it reaches a paint-like consistency.
Concrete needs a moist environment to cure properly, so dampen the area before you begin. Apply a thin coat of the bonding agent immediately before you add your filling material. Some bonding agents need to cure before you can continue, so be sure to follow any package instructions.
Fill the Cracks
With the area primed, you’re ready to do the actual patching. You can buy premade concrete filler, which comes in a dispenser similar to a caulking tube, or you can mix your own concrete patch. For the latter, follow package instructions and use a trowel to direct and smooth the mixture into the crack.
Let it Cure
Proper curing is essential if you want your patch to last. Cover the repaired area with plastic, but keep an eye out for any drying–you want it to remain damp. Once the patch has become firm, spray it with just enough water to keep the area from drying. Keep it damp for four to seven days. This sets off the chemical reaction that gives cement its strength and resilience.
Once your patch has had time to cure, you’ll need to seal it. A few products will work, but a water-based polyurethane is a great choice for most conditions. It’s less smelly than many other sealants, and it dries quickly, which makes it easier to apply multiple coats. If the area sees a lot of traffic, you’ll want to use three or four coats.
Don’t put off those unsightly concrete crack repairs any longer. A small crack can easily progress into a larger problem. It pays to fix it now and save yourself time (or money) later on down the road. Regardless of your skill level, you’ve got this.
~Here’s to Your Success