How to Repair Concrete Slab That's Flaking

What You'll Need
Pressure washer
Concrete patch

Anyone who has concrete slab in or around their house needs to be familiar with concrete slab repair. While concrete slabs are seldom a problem indoors, outside, where the slab is exposed to the elements, crack and sinking may necessitate repairs. It’s not a complicated job, but it does take some work on your part if the concrete on the slab has begun to flake, which is not uncommon after a few winters.

Step 1 - Cleaning

Before you can undertake the concrete slab repair you need to prepare the surface. Begin by using the shovel to dig out all the loose concrete. For smaller areas, and to take out the tinier pieces, you might need to use a screwdriver.

When you’ve done this, use a stiff broom on the area to remove even more of the flaking concrete. What you ideally want to do is remove all of it. To complete the cleaning and preparation, use a pressure washer on the area; this will force out the remainder of the loose concrete. Use it on the whole slab to clean it. Leave to dry.

Step 2 - Patch

There are many brands of concrete patch available. If you’re not sure which is good for concrete slab repair, ask at the hardware store. Mix it as directed, then fill the area that needs to be patched. Push it into the holes with the trowel. Fill to the point where the patched area is level with the remainder of the concrete slab and smooth out the surface.

Dampen the sponge and run it lightly over the surface of the patch so the patch materials feather into the remainder of the concrete slab. Be careful not to press down on the patched area.

Step 3 - Overlay

Allow the patch to dry for 24 hours before proceeding. However, it will look different to the rest of the concrete slab. To complete the concrete slab repair you should put an overlay on the entire slab for a uniform appearance. Mix up the overlay as directed and then pout in one small section. Even it out using a roller and then move to the next section, continuing until you’ve covered the entire slab. Leave to dry for another 24 hours before walking on the slab.

Step 4 - Hints

Before buying the overlay measure the square footage of the slab and be certain you buy enough overlay to cover all of it. Don’t use a paint roller to apply the overlay. The hardware store will have rollers that are appropriate for the job, and be sure to purchase a handle extension to avoid bending.

It’s important that the overlay isn’t too liquid. Failure to get the right mix can lead to the overlay sanding up and can be swept off the concrete slab when dry. Be careful to only to this concrete slab repair in dry weather when no rain is predicted.