How to Fix Concrete

how to fix concrete - maxis services

When installed properly, concrete installations can last for years. But even properly installed concrete will eventually wear and crack. Concrete that is exposed to the elements (such as in driveways) will expand and contract with temperature changes, which results in cracks. Indoors, basement and garage walls can crack as your house moves and shifts over time. Here is a look at how to fix concrete.

When Should You Fix a Crack?

Crazing isn’t typically a big deal, but it doesn’t look great and most people would rather repair it so that their driveway is no longer an eyesore. Cracks that are 1/4 inch wide or less don’t require emergency repair, but if you don’t get to them quickly they can expand and become an even larger problem. And of course, wider cracks should be repaired so that they don’t get even wider and cause more problems.

How to Fix Concrete Crazing

If you’re not sure what concrete crazing is, it’s the appearance of thin, surface-level cracks throughout the concrete. This happens when concrete dries too fast, and will appear soon after the concrete is poured. While crazing isn’t very aesthetically pleasing, it’s not an indication of structural damage. Here are the instructions for how to fix concrete crazing:

1. Inspect the concrete

You need to ensure that the rest of the concrete is okay. You’re looking for signs that the concrete is structurally sound and that the surface is level, regardless of the tiny cracks.

2. Clean concrete

Use high- powered pressure washer to clean the concrete and remove any debris that may be there.

3. Add the resurfacer

Follow the instructions on the packaging for the resurfacer. Apply it to the concrete and use a squeegee with a long handle to spread the resurfacer around. Work in a small area before making your way to the next area because the product will dry quickly, which will make it difficult (if not impossible) to work with if you try to work with large areas instead.

4. Let it dry

Let the resurfacer set and dry completely before you use your driveway again.

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How to fix Concrete with an Epoxy Sealer

The first option you have is to seal the crack. For this project you’ll need to go to your local hardware store or shop online for a concrete repair kit with an epoxy injection system, which should be approximately $60. Here are the instructions for how to fix concrete with an epoxy sealer:

1. Check the crack

Make sure that the crack is dry. If it isn’t, use a blow dryer to dry it and then wait 15 minutes to see if the moisture returns. If the crack becomes wet again, then unfortunately you’ll need to wait until it stops leaking and then dries on its own. If it’s dry after 15 minutes, then you can proceed to repair the crack.

2. Clean out the crack

Use a wire brush to brush away any paint, loose pieces of concrete, old filler or debris from the crack. Once you’ve finished, use a shop vacuum to remove the dust and debris you’ve kicked up with the brush.

3. Mark the injection ports

Every 12 inches, tap a 3-inch nail partially into the crack. These nails will be where your injection ports are located.

4. Mix the sealer

Open both of the tubs of sealer and use a clean stick for both tubs to scoop out equal amounts of sealer from both Tub A and Tub B. You can use a piece of scrap wood or board to mix the sealer on. Mix the two sealer products together with a putty knife until it becomes a solid gray.

5. Attach the injection ports

Pick up one of the plastic injection ports and spread some of the sealer to the bottom of the port without plugging the hole in the center. Then securely attach the port to the crack by sliding it over one of the nails. Press the port and the sealer to the wall. Repeat this step for the other ports.

6. Spread the sealer along the length of the crack

You’ll need to mix up a larger batch of sealer. Using a putty knife or margin trowel, spread the sealer 1/8 inch thick over the crack, and 1 inch over the crack on each side. You’ll also want to cover the ports up to the neck of the injection port with sealer. Smooth the sealer. You can use a mineral spirit- dipped paint brush to feather out the edges. Check the other side of the wall if you have access to the other side. If the crack extends to the other side of the wall, then cover that with sealer as well, using the same method. Allow the sealer to set for 6-10 hours.

7. Inject Epoxy

Mix the epoxy according to the directions in the kit. Load the cartridge in a caulk gun. Inject the epoxy into the bottom injection port until it starts too ooze from the port above it. Plug the port you’ve just injected and move to the next one. Be sure to plug the port you’ve finished before you inject the next one. Repeat this step until you’ve injected the epoxy into each port. Allow the epoxy to set for five days.

8. Cut off the injection ports

Cut off the necks of the injection ports with a hacksaw. You can then seal the places where the ports were with more sealer, if you desire.

Using an epoxy sealer is a great way to learn how to fix concrete if the crack is 1/4 inch wide or less. The only real drawback is that the sealer won’t match the color of the concrete, which is a problem you can remedy with concrete paint. But is there a method to how to fix concrete cracks that are larger?

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How to fix concrete cracks that are wide

When you have wide cracks in your concrete, an epoxy sealer isn’t going to do the trick. This method requires a bit more work and is quite easily enough to overwhelm inexperienced handymen. Here are instructions for how to fix concrete cracks that are too wide for epoxy sealers:

1. Cut grooves

The first step in how to fix concrete cracks that are too wide for epoxy sealers is to put a diamond blade on your circular saw and cut a 1/2 deep groove on both sides of the crack. During this step you should wear an N-95 mask and use a fan to blow out the dust because it isn’t good for you to breath in concrete dust.

2. Clear out the old concrete

The next step in how to fix concrete cracks is to use a cold chisel and maul to knock out the cracked concrete. Knock out everything between your grooves. Clean out the chunks of concrete and use a vacuum to remove dust and debris so that you have a fresh surface for new concrete.

3. Fill with concrete

The third step involved in how to fix concrete is to fill the groove you’ve created with concrete. Add a latex modifier to the concrete and mix it well before pouring it into the groove. Leave 1/2 at the top of the groove.

4. Add resurfacer

The last step involved in how to fix concrete is to add a concrete resurfacing mixture to the top of the concrete in the groove. Add water until it’s the around the thickness of pancake batter. You can smooth it out using a rubber floor squeegee, and you should feather the edges for the best appearance results.

When to call a professional

Of course you can fill in the crack yourself under certain circumstances. The crack must be either 1/4 inch or less for you to use an epoxy sealer. If the crack is wide enough to chisel it out and add new concrete and resurfacer, then it must be the same height on both sides of the crack. If the floor/ground has shifted in such a way that your work area is lopsided, you need to call a professional because this indicates structural damage. Knowing when to call a professional is an important part of learning how to fix concrete because depending on what sort of surface you’re dealing with, the work you do to try to repair it can actually weaken the entire surface over time and threaten its structural integrity.

Learning how to fix concrete isn’t for everyone, either. If there are a lot of cracks, it can be a really time-consuming job, as well. Fixing concrete is a lot of work, and most people would rather delegate that work to a professional. Luckily, Maxis Services, Inc. Is a reputable home repair and maintenance company with licensed contractors who will quickly make the repairs so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of learning how to fix concrete yourself.

Not only can Maxis Services, Inc. Fix your concrete, they can help you with all of your home repair, maintenance and improvement needs. They even have the knowledge to help you convert your home into a smart home, so that it’s more comfortable, energy-efficient, convenient and easy to use. Click here to contact Maxis Services, Inc. Today!

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