Concrete cracks are a common problem. The deterioration of the concrete can occur from ground shifting, freeze-and-thaw cycles, and other causes. They may seem like an eyesore at first glance, but cracks in your concrete do not have to be harmful or permanent.
A concrete crack doesn’t have to ruin your home’s appearance or be a permanent part of its floor. These tips will help you repair concrete cracking so it could become a thing of the past. Let’s look at some ways that you can fix cracks.
Clean and Prepare the Area
If your concrete surfaces are in bad shape, you might have to replace the entire slab. If the damaged concrete is causing structural problems, you may need to pour a new concrete slab.
But if the concrete cracks are superficial, narrow cracks, you can patch them to make them less noticeable.
To best prepare the area, clear the concrete surface you want to repair. Remove any debris, such as dirt or gravel (or loose concrete), that got into the cracks. If you have wide cracks, use a chisel to remove the loose concrete and smooth out the surrounding concrete. It’s also a good idea to remove any rust and paint that may be on the concrete, especially if you’re using an epoxy-based repair material to fill the cracks.
Other things to keep in mind are the amount of sunlight the concrete gets and the temperature fluctuations. Concrete that gets a lot of sunlight might need extra protection from UV rays. Likewise, concrete that’s in a cold environment might need special treatment to prevent it from cracking.
Dampen the Area Surrounding the Crack
Before you do any concrete repairs, you’ll need to dampen the surrounding concrete. This will prevent the repair material from drying too quickly and trapping air pockets inside the crack. You can use a spray bottle, a bucket of water, or a damp cloth to moisten the area. In this video, surface prep expert Josh Jones is focusing on repairing a superficial surface crack using an S210E shot blaster.
He goes over the surface with a machine that is creating a wet patch that will be easier to cover and repair. When he is done using the shot blaster, he’ll then start preparing the materials for concrete repair.
Use an Epoxy Filling
Epoxy works best on concrete that isn’t porous or brittle. So, you’d need to determine the level of corrosion and look for loose material before patching.
Epoxy is a sticky substance that’s often used to repair cracks in concrete. It’s available in two-part solutions, which you mix together and then pour into the crack. Make sure the epoxy isn’t water-based. It should be more viscous and sticky.
After you’ve poured the epoxy into the crack, spread it evenly so it doesn’t look like an obvious patch. You can even cover the epoxy mixture with sand, to make it even less visible.
You can use epoxy to seal cracks in concrete. This can help prevent water from getting into the concrete and causing more damage. You can buy concrete sealants at most hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the packaging to seal the cracks.
Mixing Concrete Repair Products
There are countless concrete repair products on the market, but they all have one thing in common: they fix your floors. However, if you can, use a vynil compound as it makes the job easier.
To make your vinyl concrete patching compound, start with a bucket of water and a bag of concrete mix. You can also add sand and/or other ingredients to make a repair product that’s more decorative or resistant to wear and tear.
In this video, the product used was Smith’s Epoxy U100 – Floor Coating. This is the best repair mix, especially for small cracks and hairline cracks.
If you’ll be pouring the product directly into a crack, make sure it’s a type that dries and hardens inside the crack. Once it dries, it will fill the crack from the inside out.
To fill the crack, you can use a wire brush or a putty knife. There are also other DIY-friendly versions that include a caulking gun for easier application.
However, Josh is a professional, and he can easily spread the repair mix into the cracks without having to remove air pockets afterward.
Patch and Buffer
Once the patching mixture has thoroughly dried, you can sand the crack.
Use a professional hand held machine that will sand the concrete surface, such as a 7? Hand-Held Metabo Concrete Grinder used in this video. Buff until it’s smooth and even with the old concrete.
You’ll want to really smooth out the epoxy to avoid having that bump or divot in the concrete. This will be important when you’re sealing the epoxy. If you have a bump that’s higher than the surrounding area, you may not be able to get a good seal on it.
After you’ve filled in the crack and buffed it out, seal the epoxy over the surface. You can use a sealant that has built-in UV protection, like a sealant made with titanium dioxide. This will help protect your epoxy from the sun, as sun can cause it to break down and lose its effectiveness.
If the crack is caused by ground shifting or some other issue like shrinkage, the sealant will still protect the epoxy from the elements. It will also help prevent the crack from getting larger and expanding. Think of it like a band-aid over a crack. No matter how big the crack is, the sealant will keep it from getting bigger. But it’s only a temporary fix; you’ll eventually need to find a permanent solution.
Cracks in concrete can be frustrating, but they don’t have to stay that way. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your concrete surfaces and hopefully prevent future cracks from forming.
While these tips are great for fixing concrete that already has cracks in it, they can also be useful for preventing cracks in the first place. Be sure to keep these tips in mind when you’re designing a new concrete space.
Keep in mind that these are general tips to fix cracks in concrete. They will work for most kinds of cracks in most types of concrete. However, not all tips will work in all situations, so you may have to call a licensed concrete surface prep expert to have your wall, floor or corner repaired.