When the snow finally melts away and you can see your sidewalks, walkways and driveways, it is time to think about crack maintenance.
With just a few quick steps, you can keep the cracks in your concrete from getting worse. Preventative maintenance is one thing that Trilling True Value Hardware can help you with!
Why Fixing Cracks Is Important
The Wisconsin temperature changes, along with the foot and car traffic on your concrete is just normal wear and tear. When cracks get large enough they impose a hazards that can cause injury or other hassles.
Take these 5 steps and repair the cracks in your concrete in just a few hours on a perfect weather weekend!
Step 1: Assess The Damage
First you need to make sure that there are cracks that you can manage as the home owner. Cracks that are too large might require a professional service to come and fix.
Keep in mind that most of the cracks that you can see are going to run deeper than just the surface.
Step 2: Prepare Cracks For Repair
If you have a few thin cracks, those can be easily patched up. However, if you have hairline cracks they are not going to be easily filled. Wide cracks are going to require a few steps of preparation before repair can begin. Let’s go over those steps now.
Grab a hammer and chisel and try to get rid of all the crumbled concrete on either side of the crack. This will make the crack a little wider at the top, but that is a good thing and makes repair easier. The wider crack gives the repair more surface area to adhere to making it last much longer.
After you have the crumbled concrete removed, use a NON-WIRE brush, broom or compressed air to remove all of the particles. The last step is to rinse the concrete well leaving it wet, but without standing water.
Step 3: Apply The Patching Compound
For the thin cracks that you found and have cleaned up, use a patching compound or a masonry crack filler to repair them. In most cases, you will be able to apply the crack filler much like using any other caulk product.
As you dispense the product, make sure to move along the length of the crack at an even pace to ensure proper coverage.
If you are going to use a putty knife, use it to press the compound firmly into the crack to force it into all of the nooks and crannies that are formed from the depth of the crack. In some cases, you might have to add more than one layer and in this case you would have to allow the compound to dry before adding the next layer.
Step 4: Patch Large Concrete Cracks
A large crack is considered one that is more than 1/4″ wide and more than 1/2″ deep. This size of crack requires that you apply your repair in stages. Make sure you have compound that is for deep cracks.
Like before, use a putty knife to push the compound into the crack as far as you can. As soon as you have enough inside the crack and have it leveled off at the top, cover the crack with a layer of plastic held down by bricks or rocks.
This will allow the compound to set properly and be ready for normal traffic again very soon. Remember that once you cover the crack with plastic, you need to add a little water each day to keep the crack compound from drying out.
Step 5: Hire A Professional For Badly Broken Or Cracked Concrete
If you find that your concrete walkways or driveways are very badly cracked or broken up in many places, hiring a professional might be your own only.
Typical Tools Needed For This Repair
Air compressor or can of compressed air (optional)
Masonry crack filler
Caulking gun (optional)
Putty knife or trowel
Straight-edged concrete-finishing trowel