How To Repair A Crack In Concrete

Repairing cracked concrete can be done easily and inexpensively by almost anyone. Few tools are required and it only takes about an hour.

When there are cracks and pits in concrete around the home or yard, the idea of calling a contractor should never really cross the homeowner's mind. Most small repairs can be done easily and inexpensively--usually in a short period of time by one person.

The problem

Uneven concrete surfaces are dangerous, unsightly, and can lower property value. Cracks in sidewalks and driveways can get larger when weeds or grass grow into them. Water can get under the foundation through cracks in concrete and cause big problems for the homeowner.

Necessary Supplies

Package of ready-mix mortar, clear or gray concrete epoxy

or bottle of concrete crack seal

Wire brush

Heavy-duty paintbrush

Plastic or Metal Trowel

Paint thinner

Water hose or damp cloth

Leaf blower (optional)

The actual repair

If there is any concrete dust, gravel, oil, or grease in the opening, use the wire brush and a leaf blower to clear it out of the crack. Always be sure that the concrete is completely dry before beginning any concrete repair project. If the gap to be repaired has not been properly cleaned, the repair will come loose and create the need for this repair to be redone.

If using mortar, mix it up according to the package directions. Then mix in the epoxy concrete with the mortar using the directions on the epoxy package. Load the trowel with concrete/epoxy mixture and put it into the crack. If repairing a crack that is all the way through to the ground, mortar and epoxy are the best repair choice. Make sure to trowel in enough mixture to get to the bottom of the crack. Overfilling the cracked area with mixture will allow for settling, and can be easily trowelled off the repaired area. Use the trowel to smooth out the repaired surface so that it is even with the existing surface. Since epoxy usually dries within one hour, it is essential to work fast. Clean the trowel with paint thinner to prevent hardening.

If using concrete crack seal, the job is quicker and easier. When the crack is only a short distance or less than a one-fourth-inch in depth, the concrete crack seal product is best suited for the job. Cut the tip of the bottle at an angle, creating an opening slightly smaller than the crack. Simply shake the bottle, point it downward, and fill the crack. Smooth out the excess sealant with the trowel. Clean the trowel with a damp cloth. Let the sealant dry 24 hours before walking on it.

Following these steps will help to ensure a safe walking surface and make the area more attractive. Smooth, even concrete also helps prevent further damage from occurring. With a little preventive attention, the homeowner should be able to control small cracks and pits with little effort. This will lead to a more pleasing curb appeal and compliments from neighbors. Plus, just think of the self-satisfaction that will be achieved through accomplishing this project without having to pay a contractor to do this simple work.

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