If you walk around your property at the concrete features such as your walkways or porch, you may notice a few cracks in the concrete. Your first inclination may be to just let the crack be, but that may not be the best choice. It is possible to repair many of the cracks you see in your concrete, and it may even be a preferable choice as opposed to doing nothing at all. But before you start repairing, there are a few concepts you should keep in mind to be sure to make the right decisions.
Some Cracks Need Professional Attention
Sidewalk and porch step cracks can often occur over time as the change in seasons takes its toll on your walkways. But if you see cracks in the foundation of your home, then you will want to call a contractor as soon as possible. A crack in the foundation may wind up indicating that the structural integrity of your home has been compromised and it needs attention right away. If a contractor looks your home over and says that your foundation is fine, then you can save yourself some money by repairing the crack on your own.
Always Clean The Area First
Whether you are repairing a small or large crack, you should put a wire brush to the area first to clean out any debris that may be in the way. No matter what type of repair material you are using, it will need clean surfaces to adhere to if it is going to remain a permanent fix. If there’s dirt and small concrete debris in the crack, then the patch material will not have anything stable to grab onto and the patch will not work.
Repairing Large Cracks
The temptation with large cracks is to get some concrete filler and slather it into the crack. The problem is that the crack may have smooth sides to it because it has been sitting for so long, or there may be other issues that would prevent the patch from taking hold. According to the Construction experts at About.com, the first step to repairing a large crack is to widen it with a hammer and chisel first. You will want to rough up the edges of the crack so the patch material has something to grab onto, and you may also want to make the opening look more uniform so the patch does not look awkward.
Repairing Small Cracks
Concrete repair materials for small cracks come in caulk tubes that can be easily dispensed using a standard caulk gun. As we previously mentioned, be sure to clean the area out completely before administering the concrete patch, and smooth the patch out with a wet towel after applying it so that it will dry flush with the wall.
As long as the concrete crack you are dealing with is not a structural deficiency, then you can repair it very easily on your own. Repairing concrete cracks will not only make the area look better, it can also help to keep your basement dry by keeping out the ground water.
If you want to learn more about repairing concrete, then start a course with PDH Contractors. All of the information you need to run your construction business or learn more about licensing in the various states can be found on the PDH Contractors website.