Cracks, stains, and erosion in concrete surfaces not only add an unsightly view but also impact its structural integrity and can affect its ability to last in the long term. When cared for appropriately, concrete can last upwards of 20 to 40 years, with interior surfaces and structures having an even longer lifespan, depending on their location and usage.
While you may not have to carry out extensive repairs over its lifetime, cracks and stains may develop that could compromise the concrete’s structural integrity and require immediate attention. With that in mind, here are a few commonly asked questions about concrete repairs to help you determine what you can do to address existing issues.
What Causes Cracks in Concrete?
Before delving into how to conduct concrete repairs, it may be helpful to understand some underlying causes behind why concrete cracks in the first place. Of the possible reasons, the most common is when the concrete shrinks and hardens after excess water evaporates. Additionally, many underlying issues occur during construction, whether because of human error when mixing water to create the mix or because of poor foundation planning and bad finishing.
How Can You Fill a Hole in Exterior Concrete?
To fill a large hole in a concrete surface such as a driveway or patio, the first step is to sweep and wash away any dirt and debris from the affected area before filling it with fresh concrete. You can use a sand mix for small to medium size holes or a gravel mix in case of larger ones.
How Can You Repair Cracks in Driveways, Patios, and Slabs?
Depending on the size of the crack, for smaller ones, you can use a cheap crack filler and apply it in the same way you would use grout or sparkle indoors. For larger cracks, you may need to apply a concrete resurfacing product using a squeegee or trowel to pack it into the crack and smooth it over to avoid uneven surfaces. Be sure to follow any instructions from the manufacturer to allow for proper curing time.
Can You Repair Cracked Concrete Stairs?
For isolated cracks in a staircase, you can again use a crack filler to fill in the gaps after removing damaged sections of the concrete. However, if multiple steps are affected and excessively damaged, you may have to remove them entirely with a sledgehammer to repair and replace them.
Can You Repair Stains and Discoloration?
Like most surfaces, concrete is also prone to staining and discoloration, which you can often remove by scrubbing the surface with hot water until it eventually fades. In the case of more stubborn ones, you can use an acid wash to penetrate the surface and release the stain, but if that fails, you may have to resort to using a colored sealer to recolor the enter concrete surface and hide the stain from sight.
Can You Repair a Concrete Foundation?
If you suspect or identify damage to your concrete foundation, your best option is to hire a contractor for the task. Should you notice any visible cracks along the foundation and walls or if you notice uneven floors and gaps around doors and windows, there may be substantial damage that needs immediate professional attention. Should you attempt to address the problem on your own, you are unlikely to be successful and may experience further deterioration and damage to your foundation.
Work With Professionals
While many repair tasks are doable on your own, some jobs are best left in the hands of a professional, especially if they could affect the structural integrity of your home and your safety. At Turnbull Masonry, we offer quality services and can address any concerns you have with your concrete and give you peace of mind. To learn more about our services, speak with a member of our team today.