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There is nothing worse for curb appearance than chipped and cracked concrete, particularly in steps. But you don't have to put up with that blight any longer.
As a result of changes in weather causing contraction and expansion, concrete steps crack and break up with time. Water can also sneak through and freeze within, causing the margins to deteriorate. Once the separation begins, it spreads and worsens gradually, making the steps unappealing and dangerous.
For steps that have dipped out of line or broken all the way through, replacement is the only viable alternative. However, if the stairs just have surface damage, resurfacing and recapping might save you a lot of money and time.
You should resurface steps with small holes, cracks, or spalling, while those with more substantial damage should be recapped.
We want to take you through the process so you can fix concrete steps in the right way.
- Basics of Repairing Concrete Steps
- When to Fix Concrete Steps?
- What You'll Need To Fix Concrete Cracks
- Crack Prevention in Concrete
- When to Contact a Professional
Basics of Repairing Concrete Steps
You can fix concrete steps with broken tread noses or corners by cleaning the area first and then shaping a replacement portion using concrete and a margin trowel.
There is no need for a form for minor repairs. The key to a perfect repair without a form is two-fold: preparation and quick sculpting.
- First, the damaged area must be thoroughly cleaned of any debris, dirt, dust, and moss, as any of these can cause the repair part to fail.
- Secondly, as concrete hardens quickly, it is important that you work fastly. After about ten minutes, the concrete becomes difficult to work with. Before you start mixing the concrete, sketch out the contours of your target patch.
When to Fix Concrete Steps?
For the sake of safety, you must repair dangerous concrete steps as soon as possible. Take note of the temperature variations of the concrete repair products you intend to use. Concrete poured below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit may not cure or cure very slowly.
What You'll Need To Fix Concrete Cracks
- Wire brush
- Masonry chisel
- Margin trowel
- Shop vacuum
- Spray bottle and water
- 5-gallon bucket
- Quick-setting concrete
- Liquid concrete and asphalt cleaner
- Acrylic fortifier
1. Clean and Ready the Concrete
- Sweep the surface clean of all particles using a broom.
- Scrub the concrete with a wire brush.
- With the hammer and chisel, chip away at the hanging concrete chunks.
- You can use bleach to remove mold or mildew.
- Using a zinc-based moss-killer or even household detergent, remove the moss on the steps.
- To clean the surface even more thoroughly, use a hose, brush, or pressure washer.
- A concrete cleanser can be used to remove oil stains, paint, or tree sap.
When pressure-washing your concrete stairs, use caution because the pressure of the water may cause extra harm.
2. Combine the Concrete
In a 5-gallon bucket, combine the concrete with the necessary volume of water. Put the concrete fortifier in a 4:1 ratio. Mix until it attains the texture of peanut butter.
3. Wet the Area
Spray the steps to be restored gently with water.
4. Fill the Broken Section
Layer the broken steps together. First, use the margin trowel to press concrete into the damaged section. At this point, your focus is to add mass to that part rather than form.
5. Sculpt the Concrete Mixture
Take more concrete with the edging trowel and press it into place while the mass fill is still wet. You will firstly need somewhat more concrete than is necessary for that part. Using the trowel, sculpt the corner or the edge. Return any leftover concrete to the bucket. Level out the concrete fills to match the rest of the stairs.
- To avoid fast-drying while doing a patch repair with a vinyl patch, dampen the surface before applying the patch.
- Work on a dry surface using a crack seal and prevent rain or heavy moisture on either patch for 24 hours.
- Try a stop-gap repair method if you don't have the time to fully fix a crack in your stairs. Just push sand into the crack and seal it with waterproof tape. This repair form will work for a brief time until you have enough time to fix the damage completely.
6. Allow the Concrete to Cure
Spray the concrete area with water and leave it wet for 24 hours. Allow no activity on the steps till the patch has completely cured.
Crack Prevention in Concrete
When to Contact a Professional
A general contractor or mason can fix your concrete steps. If the damage to the concrete stairs is substantial or reaches deep within the construction of the steps, you should call an expert for the job.
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