Easy step-by-step instructions for repairing concrete cracks:
Step 1: Using the screwdriver or chisel, chip away loose chunks of concrete.
Step 2. Gussy up the area by giving it a good scrubbing with the wire brush
. This will get rid of dirt, loose concrete particles, and lichen or moss.
Step 3: Rinse with a high-pressure stream of water to wash away remaining concrete dust.
Step 4. Mix your patching compound according to the pack's directions. All you need to do is dump some patching compound in a bucket, then add enough water to make a moist, yet slightly crumbly, paste.
Step. 5. Fill and smooth that crack pronto, before the compound starts to dry. Avoid inhaling the fumes. Using the trowel or putty knife, press small globs of compound firmly into the crack. Overfill a little, then scrape away the excess to create a nice, smooth surface layer. Clean your tools promptly with water.
Additional info you might like to know:
Thing 1: Concrete cracks can be caused by standing water
, so consider eliminating drainage problems while you're at it to prevent future headaches.
Thing 2: Confused about concrete? The Home Depot's website has a detailed chart listing the various types of concrete and their uses
Thing 3: Very large cracks are not really DIY-friendly. Consider consulting a concrete contractor or maybe even the advice of a structural engineer
. If you want to research the issue first, before shelling out for an expert opinion, start by learning about the different types of cracks and their likely causes
. Want to learn even more? Check out Dee Concrete's concrete tips, including their history of concrete(!).
Thing 4: You can, if you wish, apply a concrete sealer
when you're done to encourage even greater longevity. I honestly have no idea how effective this would be, so I preferred to save my money and take my chances! For the same reason, I decided not to invest in concrete cleaning solution
, as recommended by the patching compound's manufacturer. (Cleaning solution is, of course, applied while prepping the work surface.)
Thing 5: Don't procrastinate. The longer you delay, the worse the cracks will get. That's because every time it rains, water trickles and seeps down into the crack and soaks into the ground below. The ground then expands, putting more and more pressure on the concrete above. In winter, that water may freeze
and expand, forcing the concrete even further upwards and outwards.
A final helpful hint: if you live in a northern state, make sure the weather has warmed up sufficiently before you tackle any jobs involving concrete. The experts recommend never pouring concrete when the ground is freezing or you could get more cracks!
Bigger concrete-themed tasks on your to-do list? Check out Bill's post on choosing outdoor stone surfaces
and Mike's advice on calculating how much concrete you'll need for your next project