Cracks in your concrete walkway may seem like a minor occurrence at first, but if left untreated they can eventually grow into an unsightly problem and compromise the stability of the walkway. An uneven walkway can be hazardous if it creates a higher likelihood of someone tripping and falling. It is best to repair small cracks before they grow. Small cracks in a concrete walkway can easily be repaired with an application of mortar: the key is to use the correct amount and the right tools.
Step 1 - Bevel the Edges of Cracks
In order to be able to patch cracks in concrete correctly, you will need to carefully chip away at the edges of each crack so they slope downward at approximately a 45 degree angle. This will ensure that the cement patch fills the cracks securely. This is the most crucial step to this repair project because it determines the overall effectiveness.
Step 2 - Clean away Debris
Use your stiff-bristled brush to sweep away any cement chips, sediment, dirt, or other debris that may be stuck in cement crack. A small whisk broom is also effective if you do not have a cleaning brush. Then clean off any remaining dust on the cement surface with a damp cleaning rag or sponge. This will allow the cement to bond more thoroughly. Make sure no pieces of cement that you chipped off are left inside the crack to be repaired.
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Step 3 - Mix Cement
Mix together your powdered cement water and sand in your bucket according to the cement manufacturer's specifications. It is recommended to wear safety goggles and a face respirator to guard against breathing in harmful silica dust from mixing cement. It is important not to mix any more than is needed to fill the specific size crack you are repairing. You will also need to work quickly in order to use the cement before it begins to cure. Begin by first mixing the cement mix and sand; most instructions call for two parts sand and one part cement. Add the recommended amount of water, and you are ready to apply this mixture.
Step 4 - Fill Cement Crack
Scoop the mixed cement into the crack, using either the edge of your trowel, an old metal kitchen spoon, or your hands, depending on which works best. If you choose to use your hands, be sure to wash off any cement right away to prevent skin irritation. Push the wet cement firmly towards the center of the crack and cover the beveled sides completely. Smooth the surface of the newly applied wet cement until it is completely level with the rest of the concrete walkway.
Make sure that there is no standing water left in the patched crack before leaving it to dry and harden. Allow 24 to 48 hours before walking over this area of your repaired concrete walkway.
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