How to Repair Concrete

  • December 23, 2019
  • / By Dale Keese
Crack in Concrete Wall

If the damage on your concrete floor is bothering you and the handyman is taking their sweet time to come to your rescue, just do it yourself! Concrete repairs have never been so easy. You can fix the problem yourself!

Outdoor Patio Concrete Floor

When it comes to concrete repair, concrete sealers should be your first choice. Concrete sealers are an artificial substance that can be used to provide greater protection to your concrete surfaces. It seals the cracks in the concrete to prevent any moisture damage and also adds more strength to the material to make it more durable. 

Concrete sealers can also match the color of concrete and make the damaged surface look as good as new. But the best part is that these sealers can be applied without any professional help. It is a complete DIY fix that you can handle. The most common tools to apply concrete sealers with are rollers or sprayers.

Some common types of concrete sealers are:

Acrylics

Acrylics are affordable and one of the easiest to apply. They are typically water-based or soluble. They provide protection from ultraviolet rays and also form a protective layer to prevent water and de-icing salt damage. However, they tend to be thinner than other sealers and need to be applied frequently.

Polyurethanes

Polyurethanes have a thicker coat compared to acrylics and are also soluble or water-based. However, does take longer to dry. But you do not have to worry about it. If any water is spilled on the sealer before it has dried completely, the sealer will not show its effect.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers offer chemical protection from harsh weather, water damage, and de-icing salt. It is perfect for concrete slabs in the outdoors. It offers invisible protection and has virtually no sun damage or discoloration, even after a couple of months. It provides a matte finish, which is a more natural look for the concrete. However, it cannot be used for indoor concrete repair.

There are also several concrete crack repair kits available on the market, which come in a can and with a nozzle. To repair concrete, you just fill the small cracks and allow the filler to set.

Types of Concrete Surfaces

There are several types of concrete surfaces. Concrete, one of the most commonly used artificial building materials, is not only limited to your outdoor porch or driveway. There are several diverse and versatile ways of using concrete. The following are some common concrete surfaces that you can install in your home too.

Patio

An outdoor patio is a common place to install concrete in. This is a great place to put some kind of solid floor to enjoy a pleasant day outside with a book, host a barbecue, or have a picnic. Since it is outdoors, there is a greater chance that the possible repairs needed will be because of sun and water damage.

Driveway 

The driveway is another common place in your house to install concrete. Since it is literally the surface on which your car will drive through, there is a great chance of seeing cracks, breakage, and tire scratches. If you want to know how to fix these damages, see our guide on sealing driveways for more information.

Concrete Driveway

Roof 

Concrete is a safe, long-lasting material to build your roof with. Most people often layer it with tiles to provide it a more stylish look and add thickness. Concrete and tiled roofs are also affordable. But there is a chance of UV damage on the roof so you have to protect your concrete accordingly.

House with concrete roofing

Garden 

A concrete path in your garden will elevate its beauty and welcoming vibe. It gives the garden a more manicured look. Again, since the concrete will be outdoors, the repairs that you will eventually be working on are for sun and water damage. People will also be walking on the pathway with their shoes on, so the surface will lose its original shine.

Concrete Garden Path

Interior Concrete 

You can install concrete inside your home too! People often add tiles, murals, or stains to make the concrete floors inside their homes look more stylish. Even though the surface is indoors, it still needs protection from water damage and from friction caused by heavy furniture.

Types of Concrete Damage

The following are a few common kinds of damage you may find in concrete surfaces.

Shrinkage and Temperature

This damage is typically horizontal cracks found at the center of walls, caused usually by pressure around the foundation of the wall before it is allowed to set properly. It could be pressure from a high water table, poor drainage, or heavy machinery being used near the foundation. Such damage may not be noticed for years.

Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks are fine, thin cracks that may appear as the concrete heals. They typically do not cause trouble with the foundation or its stability but can cause seepage or leakage problems. You still need to fix them. 

If you notice the cracks appearing soon after the concrete has been poured, it may be because the concrete was not mixed properly.

Structural Damage

Structural damage are most common in block foundation walls and can appear as a result of horizontal pressure or settlement. They tend to appear in a horizontal line and typically from the top of the wall.

Concrete Floors

Damage to concrete floors are extremely common and usually are not a sign of structural damage. Repairs are needed to prevent further damage from water seepage. Floor damage often leads to leakage due to high water pressure. Repairing and sealing the floors will direct the water elsewhere but this does not repair the leak. 

To fix, it is always best to identify the source of the leak and do the necessary repairs immediately.

Cleaning the Surface

If you have applied a concrete sealer to your concrete surfaces, cleaning the surface should not be hard. The sealer has already taken care of ensuring that the surface does not stain or get damaged with water. Other materials you can use to clean concrete surfaces are bleach, ammonia (be careful never to use them together), and other commercial cleaners. These cleaners work best on outdoor concrete.

Crack in Concrete Wall

For concrete inside your house, you may have to use mild cleaners. Avoid using aggressive bleach or ammonia. Simply use water with a mild floor cleaner and mop. Ensure you keep applying the sealer every couple of years to keep the concrete from eroding.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, an easy, convenient and satisfying way to repair damage to your concrete surfaces around your home. Concrete is a sturdy, reliable and strong building material. Yes, there is a chance it will erode and get weathered but with the right care, your concrete surfaces can last for decades.