Repair cracked flagstone entryway

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  #1  
Old 10-28-14, 12:19 PM
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Repair cracked flagstone entryway

My old house has a concrete slab porch that was finished with flagstone (about 50 yrs ago).

Over the years the slab cracked (I"ve since repaired gutters and drainage) - I'm afraid it is a bit of a mess and was covered up by last owner with sheet of plywood and astroTurf.

Here's the photo:
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I have very limited resources and want to keep this fairly simple and inexpensive (I can't see sawing and jack-hammering, etc - the cost -materials, equipment, etc and labor - I think is beyond me).

What I'm thinking of:

- clean
- fill in deeper cracks with some generic caulk
- paint with epoxy
- use liquid concrete floor leveling product (looking for brand suggestions)
- cover with a couple more coats of expoxy paint

Space is about 4' x 6'
I can't increase the height more than maybe 1/2" because may interfere with opening of screen door (with door mat in place).

Looking for feedback, other ideas ?

EDIT:
Just went out and looked at it again.
So, it's mortar ontop of concrete (of course?) and I see the mortar is pretty soft.
I wonder if I can simply take a hand chisel and and chisel this down to concrete and use thinset to "re-flagstone" it? Oh, darn - there is some quickcrete; maybe a small sledge to break that up? - maybe this is a better plan than above?
I've got a 4 1/2" angle grinder - maybe a diamond blade - could be useful?




thanks
 

Last edited by AccidntlTourist; 10-28-14 at 01:02 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-14, 03:44 PM
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Resetting the flagstone is a better idea. Some of it may break as you chisel it but you can always get some extra pieces.
 
  #3  
Old 10-28-14, 08:25 PM
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Resetting the flagstone is definitely the way you want to go. You definitely don't want to paint that area even with an epoxy. It will continually wear and be a continuing repair project.
 
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Old 10-30-14, 09:16 PM
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Thanks Pulpo and Msradell.

I guess I thought the flagstone was set in concrete - but now I see crumbling mortar.

I"ve got some house painting to finish up then I'll rig a temp cover for the demolition area out of OSB before I tear into the flagstone.

I will report back (maybe with more question) - won't know what I've got til I actually tear into it.

thanks
 
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Old 10-17-15, 12:29 PM
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One Year Later

The procrastinator returns.

Now I have a Bosch power chisel too (no more excuses).

How does this sound?:

- Use a diamond blade on a circular saw to cut a separation line to protect flagstone I'm keeping from the destruction zone. and then tear up the old mess in the middle - down about 4"

- Lay a 2" thick bed of Quickrete?

- Allow about a 2" depth for mortar and flagstones?

- Lay new flagstone in mortar?


Photos of the current state of affairs:

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Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I've never done any stone / masonry work like this before.

thanks
 
  #6  
Old 10-17-15, 08:41 PM
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If it was mine, I'd chip out all the loose mortar, reset any unbonded flagstone using thinset, then remortar everything that needs it. Lightly tapping on all of the flagstones with a hammer will tell you if they are not tightly adhering.

Fairly simple job, actually, probably taking no more than one full day (depending on the extent of the learning curve).

P.S. Don't wait a year before getting back to us with a progress report!
 
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Old 10-19-15, 05:28 PM
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A Bigger Picture

Thank you BridgeMan; appreciate your advice very much - so don't get mad if I'm looking at some other ideas.

One of the problems with people who post questions is that they don't always give enough info - the "Big Picture".

So, here is more detail about my problem:

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Next to the door - it is level.
But, at the front edge of porch, the left side of area I'm repairing drops 1.5".

The slab is cracked / split all the way thru at the point of repair.

Some of the flagstone is set in crumbling mortar (thinset?) and some is in solid concrete.

Now, if I had time, material, money and the skill-sets, I suppose I might raise the front corner of porch slab. The slab supports the porch over-hang - so that project would involve all sorts of challenges.

Or, maybe I could tear up the flagstone on the left (or leave it) and pour a levelling layer and re-lay flagstone on that (not skills I have confidence in).

I'm looking for something less involved.

Currently - in my evolving plans - I'm thinking of cutting out an entry strip about 48" wide and about 3" deep and setting these pavers ( Pavestone 16 in. x 16 in. Pecan Concrete Step Stone-72624 - The Home Depot ). They are heavy concrete; 16"x16"x2". I've looked at them at HD and they look very solid and durable (unlike some of the other flaky composite "stones" they sell.

To address the 1 1/2" off-level drop at the front edge of the porch (back side at the door is level) - I was going to lay the pavers on the right side about 3/4" lower than the adjoining flagstone and the pavers on the left would be about 3/4" higher than the adjoining flagstone.
Then, I'd use the masonry grinding wheel on my angle grinder to take off the edge on each border; won't make it level - but at least there won't be a toe-stubbing trip there.
The level problem is worst at the front edge of the porch and gets better as you move toward the door - where is is level.

My reasoning for the pavers instead of flagstone:
- No, hunting for flagstone to match existing stone.
- No, fitting flagstone (might be a fun skill to learn, but not for this project)
- Heavy 2" concrete pavers look pretty solid and durable
- The paver color actually - I think - might make for a nice contrast to the flagstone.
- The square face of the pavers will make a nice edge at the porch entrance.
- Will stand up to the snow shovel well and provide good traction for those "slips-trips-and-falls" prone folks.

As usual, I guess I'm making this more work than it needs to be, but taking all the above factors into consideration - this seems like the direction to go.

But, I'm here for feedback, so fire-away.

thanks
 
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Old 10-20-15, 01:11 PM
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Thanx for revealing the settling issue. You never mentioned it during the past year's previous posts. Are there any other surprises you're not telling us about?

If you want to do the entire job correctly, the first time, you should consider yanking all of the flagstone, remove and replace the settled concrete, and then replace the flagstone. Go with all pavers you've fallen in love with instead of flagstone if that's your choice. Regarding aesthetics, mixing flagstone and pavers wouldn't be my first choice, as it would make for a rather cluttered effect and "busy" look.

If time and money are concerns, do what I said in my first post until such time that you can afford to do the complete job, correctly. And that includes eliminating that first low step, as it presents a definite tripping hazard.
 
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Old 10-20-15, 02:13 PM
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Thanx for revealing the settling issue. You never mentioned it during the past year's previous posts. Are there any other surprises you're not telling us about?
Other than:
The previous owner covered up this mess with plywood and an astro turf walk-way. They bolted and glued the plywood to the old flagstone so some of the existing flagstone is kind of a mess - will just replace that.
The more I think about it, the sidewalk is flagstone too, so I agree the concrete pavers might be a bad look.

I think that pretty much covers it.


Thanks BridgeMan - very solid advice.


I remembered (old man's poor memory) that I have a "Rigid" (brand name) diamond concreted grinder for my angle grinder so I can carefully take off the old thinset and layers of concrete down to just where I need it for a custom flagstone depth, instead of going at it with my power-chisel for a major demo to get the 2 1/2" depth for the concrete pavers. I read your post just in time; been putting off jack-hammering the heck out of it.

Now, I've got to go shop for flagstone.
I didn't see much to choose from at the local Home Depot or Lowes. I'm in Denver - so I'm sure there is some good stuff out there - just need to look some more.

thanks again
 

Last edited by AccidntlTourist; 10-20-15 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 10-21-15, 05:40 PM
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interesting thread,,, i don't recall this much posted information in the other forum,,, had i known all this then, my advice would've been different & been like bdge's,,, i don't see any mention of restricted budgets in this thread - was that not a consideration ' over there ' ? ? ?
 
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Old 10-22-15, 09:06 AM
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"I have very limited resources and want to keep this fairly simple and inexpensive."

Taken from the OP's first post. For anyone who missed it the first time around.
 
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Old 10-22-15, 01:37 PM
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have been following this thread in 2 different forums
 
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