Cement Grouting for the Homeowner Cement Grouting for the Homeowner
Cement grouting is a necessary skill of any homeowner who wants to repair cracks in concrete without the help of a professional. Although cement grouting does not require highly specialized skills, it does indeed require some knowledge on mixing grout components effectively. Grout is made out of cement, water, and other additives such as fiber glass, bentonite, or other strengthening agents.
Application and Limitations
Cement grout is a common bonding material used in many construction and home improvement projects. Cement grout can be used in the installation of tiles as well as in the repair of cracks on concrete. Concrete floors, patios, walls, and steps can be damaged over time and may require restoration. One way to repair the cracks is to fill them in with cement grout. However, this method does have its limitations. It can only be used effectively on wider cracks. Smaller cracks require the use of chemical grouts such as epoxy.
There are also other applications for cement grouts all over the house. Driveways and walkways made of concrete may require grouting every once in a while. Concrete fences and concrete planters also require grouting when damaged. As long as the cracks are dormant and wide enough, cement grouting can be used as a method for repair.
Tools Needed for Cement Grouting
The most common tools required for cement grouting include a trowel or a spade, a concrete drill, an injections system or a pump, water, and other hand tools. The trowel is not only useful for pressing the grout inside the cracks; it is also an important tool that can be used for mixing the grout itself. The concrete drill is required as well because some cracks need to be drilled in order to allow the nozzle of the injector to gain access to the crack. For wider cracks, a pump may be necessary.
Preparations Before Grouting
Grouting cracks require a clean surface. That is why it is important to dislodge any loose debris on the cracks and clean the dust as well. Another way to clean the cracks prior to applying grout is to flush it with water. If the crack is vertical, it is important to seal the crack with any material that will not allow the grout to leak before it sets. This can be done using tape for low pressure grouting applications and other sturdier material for heavy pressure cement grouting.
Applying the Cement Grout
The cement grout can be applied using a small injector for small-scale applications or a pump for larger scale applications. When grouting damaged portions of concrete, start at the bottom part of the crack and end at the top. When the crack is horizontal, start from one end and finish at the other end. The grout will have completely filled the crack when the injector can no longer push more grout. After the grout has set, it is important to seal the grout with a sealer in order to prevent water entry.