How to Repair Cracks in Stamped Concrete Patios
Stamped concrete patios are one of the most popular residential outdoor installations. Concrete is poured onto a patio and allowed to cure partially. Various patterns can then be stamped onto the concrete before it hardens to create an attractive surface. It is a good alternative to a brick patio. When properly installed and well maintained, stamped concrete can last several years. However, cracks are a normal occurrence even with the best of care. Some knowledge of how to repair cracks can save you from replacement of the entire patio.
Step 1 – Prepare the Patio
Scrape off the loose concrete in the cracks with a wire brush. Be sure to clear as much of the loose material as possible. This will enable the concrete patching mixture to bond more effectively when applied in the crack. Clean the patio surface with soapy water to get rid of loose concrete, dirt and debris. Rinse well and dry with an old towel.
Step 2 – Mix Color Patch Mixture
Use equal portions of water and concrete bonding polymer to create a paste. Wet the color patch with this mixture. Make sure the color patch is an exact match of what you have on your patio. This will ensure a uniform appearance after repair and helps to conceal signs of repair. The color patch mixture should not be lumpy. Sift it through a mesh screen into a small basin.
Step 3 – Application
For small cracks, you can patch the crack with your fingers. Wear rubber gloves and carefully fill the crack with the mixture. Be sure to fill the crack completely. If the cracks are larger, use a putty knife to fill the crack with the patching mixture. Use a damp sponge to smooth the edges of the crack on the surface so that it appears uniform. Allow 24 hours for the mixture to cure.
Step 4 – Extra Large Cracks
Very large cracks will require different treatment. Prepare the crack for repair as in Step 1. Be sure to allow adequate time for the crack to dry. It may take up to 48 hours. A dry surface enables the concrete patching mixture to bond more effectively. Prepare enough concrete mixture in a small basin and mix until you get a uniform consistency. Pour the mixture into the crack and smooth with a trowel. Pour in a surface release agent to facilitate the process as you imprint the desired pattern onto the concrete.
Step 5 – Re-Stamp
Obtain the exact pattern that was used during installation. You can rent this from a concrete stamping store. Stamp the pattern firmly onto the concrete. Wait for 24 hours for the site to cure. Once dry, you can clean the area with soapy water. Rinse well, mop up the water and give it some time to air dry well.
Step 6 – Seal
As a final step, seal the repaired area with a concrete sealant. This will help to protect your patio from damage and preserve the integrity of the installation.