How to Repair Concrete Steps: Broken Corners
It is common to have to repair concrete steps especially the corners because they tend to break off easily. Here are a few steps to help you through this repair.
Step 1 - Remove Old Concrete
Before beginning this project you will want to find a block of a few days or a week of good weather.
Using either, or both, the small sledge hammer and the cold chisel you can remove any of the old and broken pieces of the concrete corner. Make sure to get everything that was loose off and out of the way so that the new corner can adhere.
Step 2 - Form Boards
You will need to use the lumber as form boards. First, spread motor oil on the form boards that you are using so that the concrete will not stick to them. One of them will be lined up with the front edge of the step. Make sure that the board is a little bit longer than the damaged step and that it is even with the top edge of the step. Now you can attach the other board along the side edge. The two boards should look like the outline of the step and be perpendicular to each other. They should meet in the corner of the step. Use the stake or brick to keep the boards in place and secure. Then you can use a caulking gun to caulk the edge of the boards together to make sure that nothing leaks out.
Step 3 - Prepare the Concrete
When you are mixing cement in the wheelbarrow you have to make sure that you are getting the right consistency. The concrete that you buy will have directions on the back or you can ask the salesperson at the hardware store when you buy it. You want it to be thick enough to hold but also not too thick to pour. Mixing concrete is a lot like cake batter. Also prepare the bonding agent, mixing it in a small container according to instructions.
Step 4 - Pack in the Concrete
The bonding agent will need to be painted on the area where the new concrete will be going. You can apply the agent using a stiff bristle brush. Do this before pouring in the concrete. Then you can pack in the concrete using the wooden float. Make sure that you pack the space really tight and then smooth it out to match up with the top of the step. Let the concrete sit for about 20 to 30 minutes and then use a small broom to make grooves so that no one will slip. All you have to do is swipe the broom across the top.
Step 5 - Cover, Treat and Wait
Now that everything is in place you will want to cover the step with a sheet of plastic or tarp to make sure that nothing happens to the step before it dries completely. Every few days you will have to pick up the cover and spray a little bit of water on the concrete to make sure that it cures correctly and without cracking. Leave the plastic on besides when you are misting for about a week. Once it is completely done you can remove the plastic and clean the area.