Porch restoration

Old 06-15-07, 12:31 PM
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Post Porch restoration

Hi there,

I have an older home with a covered porch front; it has settled and a few large cracks are present, which I've sealed adequately last fall.

Now, I want to work on the asthetics. It looks uneven and slants slightly. I want to use the self-leveling cement, and plan to frame around the porch (approximately 12 feet long by 5 feet wide). I also plan to powerwash the porch first and scrub it well.

Now I see something on the net about acid etching, and I am wondering if I need to consider this for better adhesion. It sounds like a MAJOR undertaking, most of it in the how to mix and apply it safely, how to remove it (with what???).

Is is necessary? Oh yeah, also, after the cement is dry, I would seal it with an oil based enamel porch paint.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Old 06-16-07, 04:37 AM
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First, if acid etching sounds like it's too hard to do, don't do this project yourself. The acid etching would be the simplest part of the job. You simply mix up a 10:1 water and muriatic acid solution, sprinkle it on the dampened slab with a plastic watering can or all plastic sprayer, then scrub it in with a soft bristled push broom. Thoroughly hose off all the residue and you're done. Some recommend neutralizing with some ammonia or baking soda dissolved in water before the final rinse.
Second, have you priced the self levelling cement? It is PRICEY! Not to mention, your forms will have to be level all the way around (no slope for drainage) and watertight, because the self-leveller is so liquid that it will run out of any holes or gaps in the formwork or spill over the low side of a form.
Third, the existing cracks will almost certainly transfer up through the overlay in very short order, sometimes the next day.
Lastly, don't paint concrete, especially exterior concrete. It creates an ongoing maintenance headache, is slippery, and rarely lasts or looks good.
Sorry for the negativity, I'm just trying to save you some $ and headaches on a job doomed to fail. A better (and cheaper) option, if you have room between the top of the porch and your threshold, would be to pour a concrete cap at least 2 inches thick over the existing porch. If you decide on this approach, post back for how-to details. There is a procedure for that as well, and you would need to either hire a concrete finisher or have some concrete experience. There are old posts on this forum that address this. Specifically, one started by SmithBrother (I think) around March of this year. Good luck.


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