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.