Concrete is a composite material which is made from pieces of aggregate and rock mixed with cement. One of the most remarkable things about concrete is its malleability when newly mixed and its strength and durability when dried and hardened. In fact, it is one of the strongest materials in the world, which is why it’s such a popular building material and why at Everlast Studios we love it so much.
But despite its strength and durability, concrete is not completely infallible and can crack sometimes. Cracks generally occurs when the concrete isn’t poured correctly and, while a bad pour may seem fine at first, the weaknesses can begin to show years later. Cracks can also happen if the concrete isn’t thick enough to handle the weight of whatever’s parked or stored on top of it. For example, a driveway that houses a semi-trailer every night is going to need thicker concrete than a footpath that leads to your home.
In the event of your concrete cracking, don’t fret – here’s how you can fix it yourself:
What You’ll Need
Here’s the equipment you’re going to need when repairing cracked concrete not only to do the job but to ensure your safety as well:
- Pressure cleaner
- Safety glasses
- Masonry filler (for smaller cracks)
- Concrete compound (for larger cracks)
- Hammer and masonry chisel (for larger cracks)
- Clean broom (optional)
- Concrete edger
- Concrete finishing float
How to Repair Small Cracks
If you’re just dealing with a few small cracks, here’s what to do:
- Prepare the surface by using the pressure cleaner. Make sure to get any dirt and debris off the concrete, paying close attention to the cracks and ensuring they are completely clean. That way, the new concrete will harden and cure properly and adhere properly to the old concrete.
- Fill the cracks with masonry filler, ensuring the consistency isn’t too thick or too watery. Simply do this with gloves and a trowel, making sure the crack is completely filled and there are no air bubbles. Smooth the surface with back of the trowel.
- Let it dry and make sure not to disturb the cracks by walking, driving or placing any weight on it. At minimum, you should leave it overnight.
- Clean the surface again, using the pressure cleaner. Just make sure not to spray the newly filled areas too much as it could unsettle the filler. If it displaces after only a light spray, it indicates that it hasn’t completely dried and needs more time to settle.
- Resurface the patch of concrete you’re fixing by mixing up some concrete and spreading it over the concrete’s entire surface. Make sure you add a little extra water to the mixture to ensure it doesn’t dry out too quickly. Use a concrete finishing float and concrete edger to ensure the surface is even and smooth. If you want to add some texture to your concrete, which will help to prevent it from being too slippery and prevent falls in wet weather, use a dry and clean broom, gently brushing across the surface of the wet concrete.
- Allow to dry, again ensuring that you don’t walk, drive or place any weight on the concrete until it has completely set.
How to Repair Larger Cracks
For the most part, repairing larger cracks is a similar process to small cracks. The main difference are:
- Use a hammer and masonry chisel to widen the base of the cracks and dislodge any loose material or concrete in the cracks. Make sure to remove all debris that falls into the cracks with the pressure cleaner. There should be no pools of water in the cracks before you proceed to the next step.
- Fill in the crack with concrete compound, making sure that there are no air bubbles. Stabbing the handle of your trowel into the wet concrete will pop any air bubbles.
All of the steps before and after are the same for if you were repairing small cracks.
If repairing concrete is too big of a job for you, or you don’t have the required skills or equipment, Everlast Services are more than happy to help. With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, we know pretty much everything there is to know about concrete and can have your cracked driveway or pathway fixed in no time. Alternatively, if you’d like to give your concrete an upgrade, we offer stamped, coloured, exposed aggregate and stencil concrete.