Concrete is very durable and a concrete installation can last for a very long time. However, most concrete installations develop gaps, cracks, crevices, and holes sooner or later. If your concrete driveway, garage floor, path, or patio is developing cracks, it is better to make the necessary repairs immediately.
If you do not know how to repair concrete, what may start off as a small problem is only likely to get bigger and more difficult and expensive to fix.
Cracks in concrete typically start to appear because of thermal movement, shrinkage, or some other causes. The danger is that these cracks can widen over time and cause water seepage, which can result in the structural integrity of your home being compromised.
Cracks in your concrete driveway, walkway, garage, patio and foundation are not only unsightly but also can be a hazard. They can cause you to trip and fall. Another effect is that they can lower the value of your home. This is why you should know how to fix cracks in concrete so that you can repair them immediately.
Before you repair the concrete crack, it is a good idea to assess the general area and determine the cause of the crack. You need to assess if the structural foundation of your home has been compromised and if yes, you must determine the root cause, which could be:
If the concrete crack has resulted in structural damage, then you will need to use a flexible material and technique to resolve the problem. In the case that the concrete crack is a non-structural problem, i.e., a decorative or aesthetic problem, even then, the issue must be addressed.
You still have to know how to fix cracks in concrete as soon as possible before the cracking spreads or worsens. Hairline or less critical concrete cracks could be due to:
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Any cracks in the concrete must be fixed to achieve any one of the following:
You must first eliminate the cause of the problem before fixing a crack in the concrete. Preventing further damage to the concrete is essential to the success of the repair job you undertake. Also, how to repair cracked concrete depends upon the size of the crack.
Repairing concrete cracks may seem like an overwhelming task. However, these days, there are a lot of quick DIY methods, which enable you to do the repairs yourself.
You cannot repair concrete surfaces using concrete alone. Instead, you need to make use of a concrete repair mix, which is available readily online or at home improvement stores. There are different types of concrete repair mixes available such as latex patching material, epoxy compounds, and mortar mixes.
When doing DIY concrete crack repairs, keep in mind that latex patching materials and epoxy compounds are suitable for concrete cracks which are 1/8-inch wide or narrower. Mortar mixes work best to fill chipped edges or large cracks.
Before you start to repair concrete cracks, it is very important to prepare the area that needs fixing.
This part of the job can get quite dusty. The cleanup and after care will be easier for you if you spread a tarp in the area you are working on. Most importantly, ensure that you are wearing proper eyewear, rubber gloves, and protective gear every time you do concrete crack repair.
You can fill cracks in concrete that are narrow or small using latex or epoxy patching products. You can apply the product by using a caulking gun. Some of these products are available in bottles with applicator tips. For hairline or very small cracks, you can use a vinyl concrete patching compound to fix the crack.You must apply this compound over the crack and then smoothen it using a trowel or putty knife. Usually, in the case of hairline cracks, applying the crack filler or caulk over the cracks is not effective. Over time, the caulk starts to peel off the concrete surface. Read on to know the steps on how to fix concrete cracks.
In the case of larger cracks and imperfections, use a mortar mix. You can create a DIY crack repair mix, which is extremely simple. Combine one part Portland cement, three parts of masonry sand, and sufficient water. Mix them all together to form a thick paste. Now you have your own mix for repairing cracks in concrete.
You also have the option of purchasing a readymade repair mortar mix online or from your local home improvement store.
The most important thing to do when repairing wide cracks in the concrete is undercutting the sides of the crack so that it gets an inverted “V” shape. This allows the mortar mix to get into the crack and create a mechanical bond, as well as a chemical bond between the patching material and the concrete.
Read on to know the steps on how to repair concrete with wide cracks.
Now that you have learned how to repair cracked concrete, there is no need to go into panic mode when you notice cracks in any concrete structure in your home. With a few materials on hand and a bit of patience and effort, you can easily fix the crack and get the concrete looking brand new in no time at all.