Bartlett IL Concrete Construction | Filling In The Cracks: DIY Concrete Repair Tips

One of the many advantages of choosing concrete as a building material around your home is its longevity. The fact that concrete lasts much longer than other materials makes it a smart investment and gives you the peace of mind you need as a homeowner. Although concrete is a stylish and durable material, there are still instances when damage or cracks may develop. Fortunately, cracked concrete is a fairly easy fix. Here are a few tips on concrete crack repair to help you get your home looking great again. 

Handling Hairline Cracks

For a hairline concrete crack repair, you can use a combination of water and cement. First, plan to keep the cracked area moistened with water for several hours before the repair; just don’t use so much water that it starts to accumulate on the surface. Next, use a trowel to apply the damp cement mixture, filling in the crack and smoothing out the surface while it’s still pliable. Cover the patch with plastic and allow it to dry for several hours. Moisten the area once per day for five days, leaving it covered the rest of the time. After five days, the surface should be fully cured and can be uncovered for final drying. 

Correcting Cracks in Concrete Walls

If the crack is smaller than one-inch wide, it will need to be enlarged before it can be repaired. Widen the crack with a hammer and chisel. As you chip away at the surface, work to widen the bottom of the crack more than the top, to create a better mechanical bond between the patch and original slab. Continue chiseling the crack until it’s one-inch deep and free of all debris. Then, clean the area with a water hose and apply a concrete adhesive. If for some reason you’re not using an adhesive, be sure to keep the area moist. If the cracks are on the smaller side, use premixed cement for the patch, smoothing it over with a trowel. As the concrete dries, use a brush to replicate the texture of the original wall surface.

Dealing with Driveway Cracks

Driveways are built to withstand heavy amounts of weight for an extended period of time. As such, it’s important to address the base of the crack to make sure your repair can withstand weight in the future. Opting for gravel instead of sand in your concrete mixture will help reinforce your repair efforts. Similar to a wall crack, if the crack is bigger than one inch, it will need to be made slightly larger before it can be repaired. Spray it down with a hose to ensure that all dirt and loose debris are removed, then scrub it clean. Use a paintbrush to apply a concrete adhesive, allowing it to dry slightly so that it becomes tacky. Once you have a good, sticky surface, add water to your premixed concrete and patch the crack. Do not drive or park over the repair for at least five days.

For additional help with your concrete repair project or more DIY tips, contact G-CAT Construction today!

 

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Bartlett IL Concrete Construction | The Difference Between Concrete and Cement

Have you ever tackled a big DIY home project? Maybe you’ve poured a foundation for a shop, installed new countertops, or set posts for a new fence. If so, chances are that along the way, your project led you to your local big-box store to grab supplies. As you stared at the bags of paper-wrapped building materials, you may have wondered whether you needed concrete or cement to complete your project. Is there a difference between the two materials or are they interchangeable? 

It’s not surprising that most people use the terms “concrete” and “cement” interchangeably. While both materials are widely used in the construction and DIY industries, they are quite different from one another. 

Concrete is typically referred to as a composite material because it consists of water, aggregate, and cement. Sand, crushed stone, and rock make up the aggregate substance. 

You’ll find concrete just about everywhere, as it can last for hundreds of years under the right conditions. Today, we frequently use it for larger projects such as building bridges, laying sidewalks, and pouring foundations for a home. Contractors can create molds that form concrete into the desired shape, like a new walkway or a set of steps. It can be used in a variety of weather conditions ranging from extreme cold to consistently heavy rain. Special binding agents can also be added to the mixture to give it extra strength and durability. Some variations of concrete will cure or harden in mere hours as opposed to days, which comes in handy when time is of the essence.

Cement, on the other hand, is an adhesive or binding agent that contains limestone, silicone, clay, and iron. These ingredients are superheated to a temperature of about 2,700° in large, industrial kilns. When the material is removed from the kiln, it is broken up into a powder and gypsum is added, giving cement its familiar grayish color. Once water is added, it creates a paste that hardens fairly quickly. 

Portland cement is the most common and widely used form of cement. As it is a hydraulic cement, it can even harden underwater and provide strength in the wettest of conditions. It’s common to see cement in blends of concrete, stuccos, and mortar. Cement is generally the go-to material for smaller-sized projects such as grout or repairing cracks in concrete surfaces.

The next time you find yourself faced with a home improvement or repair project that requires concrete or cement, you’ll know which is appropriate for the job. If you need help, or have questions, contact G-CAT Construction. We’ll help you choose the best product for your specific needs. 

 

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169