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Concrete Repair and Maintenance Ideas and Strategies


About Me

Concrete Repair and Maintenance Ideas and Strategies

Hi, my name is Kent, and I have taken care of a lot of concrete over the years. I have acid stained it, laid it myself, repaired small blemishes and hired concrete contractors to do work for me. Through all of those experiences, I have learned a lot about concrete, and I am eager to share that information with others. If you want tips or ideas related to concrete, you have come to the right place. Please, get comfortable and explore. I hope you enjoy this blog and that it informs and inspires you. When I'm not writing or dealing with concrete, I love to travel. I also work as an engineer and spend a lot of time on home remodeling projects.

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Simple Tips for Ensuring Successful Concrete Repair

As a homeowner, you can repair the concrete of your driveway, walkway, and steps if you invest in the right patching materials and tools, and take the time to prepare the surface properly before work begins. Note a few simple tips for ensuring successful concrete repair around your home so your work will look good and the repairs will last. 

1. Undercut the edges

Undercutting the edges means to cut around the layer on the underside of the concrete, so that the base of the area to be repaired will be wider than the top. This gives the concrete more strength and will allow the repair job to be strong enough to last for years. To undercut concrete, use a chisel and hammer so you can reach into that underside and chip out some pieces and create that wider opening.

2. Tamp

To tamp something means to push it down into an opening, and when you put down concrete patching material, you may not realize that you should tamp it into place. Use a float or trowel with a straight edge and gently tamp down the concrete patching mixture so that you remove air bubbles and so it settles into the cracked area, leaving no gaps or spaces around it.

3. Brush the surface

Note that concrete filler should be brushed or smoothed once it's set. Being set refers to when the material first begins to solidify but isn't quite hardened; once it reaches this consistency, you want to brush or smooth the surface so that it matches the area around it. Check the manufacturer's timeline for when you can expect patching materials to be set and then be sure you use your trowel or a stiff brush to smooth over and brush the surface of the patch so it looks better and more uniform once it hardens completely.

4. Use a form where necessary

For larger areas that need patching or for patching the side of a concrete step, use a form. This can be a wood chip that you put inside a large hole in the driveway and which will help keep fresh concrete in place, or a wood piece you nail to the chipped step with masonry nails and which will also keep wet concrete in place. Never assume you can or should just fill in cracks with patching compound alone but use forms for larger repairs and those to the side of any concrete piece.