Front step repair help

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  #1  
Old 06-04-19, 10:44 AM
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Front step repair help

I am looking for advice on fixing a front door concrete step. The HOA at the condo complex I live at is requiring it to be redone for what seems to be only for appearance reasons. I am no mason and know very little about concrete. This is far out of my scope of work which is why I came here. I have attached pictures to help show the issues at hand. The bushes in the pictures will be removed as well. If more pictures are required, I can easily take any that are requested. I am not sure why the pictures got rotated in the post.

The steps themselves seem to be very sturdy when standing or walking on them. There is no wobble. The small step in front of the landing looks like it can be completely removed and seems to be unattached to anything.

I am wondering what would be the best, affordable, way to fix these issues? Also, there is a gas line that runs under the steps.

Down the road, I would like to do a stone veneer with a stone tread or tile tread. I know these steps are very small but, I think it would be a fun learning experience.

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Last edited by PJmax; 06-04-19 at 07:59 PM. Reason: reoriented/resized pictures
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  #2  
Old 06-04-19, 01:04 PM
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I would remove the loose pieces and with a masons hammer or hammer and chisel remove any mortar stuck to the blocks. Then mortar them back where they should be. It's not a terribly visible location so it's a good place to learn some masonry. It's really not hard and you will make a mess at first but after a while you'll start to get the hang of it. Then when your done if it's totally ugly you can apply a skim coat of mortar over the top to even the appearance.
 
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  #3  
Old 06-05-19, 04:52 AM
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Okay, thank you for such a quick reply!! I will try that one of these weekends.

When finished, I will post the result pictures.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 09:11 AM
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Wear gloves. Most people new to masonry can't keep their hands out of the mortar. Mortar is alkali and will really chap/dry out your skin if you handle it with your bare hands.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 09:59 AM
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The advice to use gloves is very important -- and use thick rubber gloves. Had that experience of cement burn -- it is painful. Also, if you develop an allergy , you will carry that for lifetime
 
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Old 06-05-19, 10:15 AM
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Adding one more point --- make sure the mortar is damp throughout curing period. The longer it takes to dry stronger it becomes
 
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Old 06-05-19, 10:26 AM
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Awesome advice guys! Thank you both for the PPE tip as well!

As far as mortar goes, are there specific types that are for specific uses? I see there are "Thin Set" and "Medium Bed" on a quick search of home depot. I am guessing for my application, I would want the medium?
 
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Old 06-05-19, 12:08 PM
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I most often use type S but you could also use N. It's easiest to buy the mortar mix that already has sand so all you have to do is add water.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 12:19 PM
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Before starting on the actual task at hand, I would check the landing left to right and forward to back with a level, to see what if any adjustments you may want to make. You want it level side to side, and personally I would try to shoot for about 1/8" per foot away from the house, but definitely nothing toward the house.
 
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