7 Steps to Concrete Slab Repair
Concrete slab repair is a project a homeowner can do with some simple tools and materials. Successful concrete repairs depend on getting the new patch to adhere to the existing concrete. This method will repair a large area of damage on a concrete slab such as a patio, garage floor or driveway. If you have small cracks or chips you can repair these with concrete patching compound or an epoxy. The repair described below is for more extensive damage to a particular area of the slab.
Step 1 – Prepare the Area
Take out any loose pieces of concrete from the damaged area of the concrete slab. Use a chisel and hammer to get out any stones. Be sure to clear away any loose rocks.
Step 2 – Put in the Reinforcement
Drill holes with the hammer drill that are equally spaced in the area to be patched. Hammer in the shorter rebar pieces. Use a brush to whisk away any dust.
Step 3 – Apply the Cement “Paint”
Mix the cement with water until you get thickness of pancake batter. Put a little water on the damaged area. Paint on the cement you have just prepared to the concrete and the rebar.
Step 4 – Mix the Concrete
Now it is time to make the concrete you will use for the patch. Mix together 3 parts gravel, 2 parts sand, and 1 ½ parts cement. Add water until it is pourable. Don’t make it too thin.
Step 5 – Put in the Concrete
Pour the concrete into the damaged area. Put the long piece of rebar into the middle of the patch for extra reinforcement. Use a block of wood to go over the concrete several times in order to level it.
Step 6 – Finish the Surface
Concrete starts to harden in a couple of hours. Rub the surface with the wood block to roughen up the finish slightly to match the rest of the slab.
Step 7 – Let the Patch Cure
Put plastic over the patch. Leave it there to let the concrete cure for at least 3 days. Even if it looks completely harden don’t be tempted to remove it too early. Letting it cure is one of the secrets of professionals. After 3 days remove the plastic.
Your patch should be hard and last a long time because you took the time to prepare the surface and do the job right. You can use the same techniques you learned here to repair a sidewalk or concrete steps. If you have damage to a concrete slab because of foundation problems that have shifted the slab causing breakage or large cracks you will want to address the foundation problem first. Just making a repair will be a short-lived solution if the foundation shifts again then you will need additional repairs.