5 Easy Repairs for Worn Concrete
Concrete surfaces are designed to survive, but you must sometimes intervene to ensure that they remain as attractive as they are functional. Continue reading to discover how to fix five typical superficial concrete faults, as well as which materials are suitable for each repair.
Concrete is one of the most durable building materials available, but improper installation, ordinary wear and tear, chemical exposure, and even the dangers of severe temperatures may all take their toll on concrete surfaces. If your concrete is beginning to seem rough around the edges, don’t worry: you can probably repair it! Whether the issue is spalling on a concrete slab, scratches on a countertop, or disintegrating edges on stairs, employing the correct methods and excellent restoration supplies, you can frequently restore the concrete to its former good looks. Continue reading for do-it-yourself remedies to five of the most frequent superficial concrete issues.
The Solution to Crumbling Concrete Steps
Crumbling or chipped stair surfaces, edges, or corners may seriously detract from the curb appeal of your property. You don’t have to put up with the worn-out appearance of chipped and broken staircases. Most surface defects may be repaired as long as the steps are structurally sound—that is, they are not spalling, flaking, or broken all the way through.
If you have cracks and chips, the polymer resins in Quikrete’s Vinyl Concrete Patcher will form a strong, long-lasting connection with the existing concrete and smooth out the surface. The patcher may be applied to a thickness of 14 inch over clean and sound chipped surfaces, and its smooth consistency makes it simple to feather out with a trowel and integrate with the rest of the step’s surface. If your repair is thicker, layer the vinyl concrete patcher in 14-inch increments. (The procedure is shown in this helpful video.)
Restoring disintegrating stair edges to their previous crisp and sharp contour look necessitates the use of a completely new product: Quikrete’s Quick-Setting Cement. When combined with Quikrete’s Acrylic Fortifier, this product produces a flexible semisolid mixture that can be shaped, molded, and sculpted to the precise edge of each step. If the repair is less than one inch deep, adding the acrylic fortifier to the quick-setting cement will strengthen the connection. Follow the instructions in this video to easily prepare the concrete surface and create new edges.
Resurface a Cracked Driveway
Do you have flakes or pits in your outside concrete? This effect, known as spalling, is commonly seen in concrete that was poured too wet at the time of installation, but other factors such as prolonged snow exposure, repeated use of chemical ice-melting products, or persistent dripping of water in one location (such as beneath a garage eave or beneath a spot that lacks gutters) can also cause this type of surface damage. Fortunately, although spalling is an eyesore, it does not jeopardize the structural integrity of your driveway, sidewalk, or patio. Smooth Quikrete’s Concrete Resurfacer over the rough, damaged surface to remove it. Concrete Resurfacer is made of Portland cement and a proprietary blend of polymers and additives that give it additional strength and durability. It’s also challenging enough to drive on!
Divide huge driveways into smaller sections for the greatest results; working one portion at a time makes it simpler to apply and regulate the resurfacing product. Clean the current surface with a power washer, then use a heavy-duty drill and paddle bit to mix the resurfacing solution, then distribute it evenly with a long-handled squeegee, following these expert suggestions. You may create texture using a utility brush to protect the concrete slabs from becoming dangerously slippery when wet.
Remove Countertop Scratches & Stains
Concrete countertops, as cool to the touch as they are to the eye, provide a fashionable but robust work surface for the kitchen—a area where the concrete will surely succumb to stains and scratches over time. If any of these defects occur on your countertop, the easiest approach to recover it is to just grind it down, then restain and reseal it. Stains and scratches seldom penetrate deeper than the top layer of a concrete countertop, so you won’t have to remove much of the surface to remove them. Sand the whole surface in multiple passes using a handheld grinder equipped with a series of diamond grinding pads while wearing a respirator mask and protective eyewear to keep the airborne concrete dust at bay. Work in graded grits, starting with a 50-grit pad to remove stains and scratches, then on to a 400-grit pad for an ultra-smooth, polished surface.
Next, add a good penetrating stain to the sanded surface, such as Quikrete’s Penetrating Concrete Stain, to enhance the natural beauty of your countertop with one of a selection of rich colours. Protect the new appearance of your countertop with a sealer like Quikrete’s Concrete & Masonry Waterproofing Sealer, which will protect it against acidic spills like vinegar or lemon juice. (Over the first few months, a sealed countertop is likely to acquire a warm and welcoming patina that most homeowners adore.) Finally, after the sealer has dried, prepare your countertop for meal preparation by applying a coat of glossy, food-safe wax, such as carnauba.
Replace worn expansion joints on your patio and driveway.
Expansion joints are installed in vast swaths of concrete to prevent fractures from forming when portions shift gradually over time due to temperature variations or soil movement. If, on the other hand, these joints were never sealed, or if the previous sealer has subsequently hardened, cracked, or peeled away from the concrete in places, the joints will fail. Once broken, these holes may enable water to infiltrate under the concrete top, increasing the danger of soil movement and cracking.
You may extend the life of your patio by removing the old sealant, cleaning the seams, and adding fresh sealant. The surface must first be cleansed of dirt, grime, and grease, as with any concrete restorations. For difficult-to-remove stains on outside slabs, use Quikrete’s Concrete and Asphalt Cleaner with a stiff brush and rinse with a hose. Using a utility knife, remove solidified sealant from expansion joints. Insert a compressible foam “backer rod” into any expansion joints that are 12 inch or wider to prevent sealant from drooping between slabs, leaving roughly 14 inch of room above for the sealant. After cleaning and preparing the joints, use a regular caulk gun to apply Quikrete’s Self-Leveling Polyurethane Sealant to each joint. When you’re ready to get started, watch this video for an in-depth look at each phase of the procedure, from joint prep to applying the new sealant.
Repair Leaking Basement Walls
Outside soil lateral pressure may cause basement walls to break over time. These fissures are not only ugly, but they also increase the likelihood of groundwater leaking into your basement. As long as the fractures are tiny (14 inch or less) and the wall isn’t exhibiting symptoms of structural collapse, sealing the fissures promptly using Quikrete’s Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement will lessen the probability of a damp basement. When mixed as directed and applied as shown in this video lesson, the cement takes on a putty-like consistency that may be readily pushed and molded into the crevices. The material expands, permanently securing it in place.
So, now that you know how simple it is to perform some basic concrete repairs around the house—and which supplies are appropriate for each application—what’s keeping you from doing it? Start by cleaning up minor gaps, unkempt edges, and rough surfaces to give your home a cleaner, more polished look.