Concrete surfaces typically crack as a result of normal usage. To illustrate their brittle nature, specially made joints placed into concrete help promote more structurally sound joints. But suppose a concrete crack occurs elsewhere on the concrete surface of an outdoor walkway, patio, or driveway without the proper concrete repair. In that case, the surrounding concrete can start to crumble, too. A concrete crack that has been allowed to develop can lead to damages that extend far outside the perimeter of the area and into the interior of your home, which is very dangerous.
You must call a professional for concrete repair when you experience any of the following signs:
- Cracks in your exterior walls or windows.
- Major structural cracks in the exterior walls or windows.
- Any other openings in your exterior walls or windows that do not pass inspection by your building inspector.
Signs like these can mean that you need to have major concrete repairs carried out immediately before they worsen. If you have cracks in your siding or frames, this is an even bigger problem because you can have leaks inside your home. Leaks can lead to mold and other organic growth if they are not fixed immediately. Therefore, be sure to get all of these problems repaired quickly before they become worse.
There are several different methods of concrete repair. Some methods are better suited to different types of cracks, some more suited to cracks in different areas of your home than others. For example, it is better to use steel ties for exterior concrete repair than it is to use steel rebar for interior cracks. A steel reinforcement rod is often used where concrete is cracked to strengthen the entire concrete structure, including adjacent walls and floor joists. If you have cracks in your floor joists, you should use rebar.
The different ways that concrete repair is done may also depend on the severity of the damage caused to the concrete structure. For example, if there is extensive damage to the exterior walls, the repair will most likely be limited to repairing any visible signs of damage, such as cracked paint or deteriorating floorboard. In most cases, you will be required to repair all of the deteriorated parts of your house yourself, although you may have to get support services from a few suppliers.
Concrete repairs are usually best handled by contractors who have been trained and certified in this field. If you have small cracks in your exterior walls, a contractor can fill them with a liquid mortar to set the size of the hole, then place a series of Styrofoam cups or other suitable materials on top to keep the concrete still while it cures. They can then use a diamond-tipped chisel to cut out the sections that they need. In some cases, you may not have to cut out the sections, but can simply use a chisel to smooth out the surface and make it look as good as new. This method may work better with minor cracks, however.
Another type of concrete repair involves applying an epoxy coating over the old concrete and rebounding the entire thing. Before applying the coating, you will want to clean the surfaces and make sure that there are no abrasions on the surface, such as burrs. After cleaning the surfaces, you can apply the epoxy and let it set for at least thirty minutes before you apply any type of sealant. In most cases, this coating will be applied to the surface in large batches, so allow plenty of time to set.
Epoxy concrete repair is one of the most popular methods used to patch small cracks and other kinds of minor repairs. This process usually requires one part epoxy to two parts of quikrete, which hardens under pressure and is very durable. You mix the epoxy and quikrete in equal parts, and apply it to the problem areas one at a time. Most people choose to pour the two chemicals into a cone, but you can also just use a flat object to create a pattern or a perimeter. This coating will bond more tightly to the ground than a typical cement mixture, and will probably have a thicker consistency than a typical concrete repair.
One reason that this mix is considered superior to cement is that the mix does not run off as easily, and it does not compact in the same way that cement does. These traits make the mixture ideal for patching various small damages without having to replace the entire area. In some cases, you may even be able to apply an overlap to an old concrete patch. You can then just fill in the new concrete patches and then apply an edge coat to give your driveway or walkway’s a nice smooth look.