How To Fix Flaking And Cracked Concrete

While concrete floors and driveways are durable, they sometimes require repairing. Over time, you may notice flaking or cracking. Replacing concrete can be expensive; following these steps for making the repairs yourself will fix your problems and save you money. 

Flaking Concrete

Change of seasons and moisture can be tough on concrete surfaces.  Over time you may start noticing flaking in some areas. This is also known as scaling or spalling.  Following the steps below will help fix this problem and restore your concrete back to new. 

1. Prepare the surface by removing all of the loose concrete. You can use a chisel or a flat head screwdriver to pull up pieces that are ready to break away. Once all of the loose pieces are removed, use a pressure washer to clean the area. Pressure washing is an important part of the repair to make sure the area is clean and free of any loose particles. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly. 

2. Buy a bag of patching concrete from the local home improvement store.  Mix the patching material according to the directions on the bag. Use a trowel to fill in the voids until the concrete is even and smooth.  Using a wet sponge, apply light pressure and run it across the concrete and feather it into the existing concrete. Allow the patch to dry overnight. 

3. The patched area will be a different color from the old concrete; the only way to fix that is to cover the entire area with an overlay.  An overlay compound can also be found at the local home improvement store.  Mix it according to the directions and be careful not to use too much water. Pour the overlay over the entire surface, one section and a time; roll it out using a special roller until everything is smooth and uniform. 

Cracking Concrete

Cracks in the concrete are caused by sideways expansion, poor drainage, or soil that has settled beneath the concrete. If the concrete is the same height on both sides, you can fix it yourself by following these steps.

1. Use a diamond blade on a circular saw or a chisel to cut a groove a half inch deep along each side of the crack.  This helps the new patching material to bond with the old crack. 

2. Brush and vacuum all of the dust and debris away. Make sure the area is dry and not damp.

3. If the crack is less than 1/8", you can fill it in with a caulk made specifically for concrete. If the crack is larger, you must buy a bag of concrete patching material from the local hardware store.  Mix the bag according to the directions. 

4. Press the material into the crack with a trowel in ¼ inch layers until the crack is full.  Allow each layer to completely dry before applying the next. 

5. Once the crack is filled, feather the last layer out into the existing concrete until it is smooth.

6. An overlay will need to be added to make the area look uniform. The directions for applying concrete overlay can be found in the flaking concrete section above. 

If you're willing to put in the time and work to make your own repairs on your concrete, you can save a lot of money. It's important to follow the steps exactly to prevent future problems. Speak with experts like Robar Enterprises Inc for more info.