Concrete crack repair isn’t that difficult as assumed by most of the people outside. There are several causes for concrete cracks, including shifting ground, accumulating moisture and even hard impacts. Of course, regardless of the cause, it is necessary to repair these cracks as quickly as possible in order to avoid permanent structural damage later down the line.
What’s in The Article?
Traditionally, taking care of concrete cracks repair has always been quite troublesome. And the fact that it may sometimes cost quite a sum of money does not exactly help make the situation any better. As you may already know, having to go through the trouble of completely replacing the concrete in a driveway can be very stressful and time-consuming.
And although the simple use of patching compound makes things a bit easier, there are still various problems that tend to arise after this procedure takes place. So instead of asking yourself which one of these two would be a better solution for your problem with concrete cracks, then perhaps you should instead think about what kind of other options exist out there for you.
First, you need to understand types of crack may occur in concrete before deep-diving into the actual topic of concrete crack repair.
How Many Types of Cracks May Occur in Concrete?
Depending on the type of cracks that you are looking at, fixing cracks in concrete can either be something that you need professional help for or something that you can easily do on your own.
Again, you need to consider which types of concrete cracks you are looking at first in order to determine if the job is something that you can safely do by yourself.
Basically, there are two main types of cracks that can appear in concrete. This is something that you absolutely need to know about before you begin fixing cracks in concrete on your own.
The first kind of concrete crack is often referred to as the structural crack. This is something that may occur deep inside the concrete structure and can often lead to major disasters. This is something that needs the attention of professional building contractors. It is not advisable to go on fixing cracks in concrete like this on your own.
However, there is a second type of crack that you can definitely work on to fix on your own. These are commonly referred to as surface cracks and are often just cosmetic damages. Normally, these types of cracks diminish the overall quality of a driveway or home by making the outer appearance look worse for wear. Once you see that you have this type of concrete crack on your hands, then proceed to start working on a fix.
What’s The Cost-Effective Way of Concrete Crack Repair?
There’s a quick and easy way to take care of concrete crack repair without having to resort to costly repairs or troublesome replacements. While it’s true that most people automatically assume that replacements or repairs are the only suitable solutions for these kinds of problems, you can actually use a subtly different approach in order to better take care of your problems with concrete cracks.
You can instead look into resurfacing concrete, a solution that not only will let you save valuable time but also money, which should quickly make it a very attractive option for most anyone who has trouble with concrete cracks .
Crack Repairing Method According to Its Sizes
Depending on the size, the location and the nature of a concrete crack, the repair methods used to fix it may differ somewhat. Listed here are some of the most common methods used to fix these cracks and the situations in which they should be considered.
Small Crack Fillers
For simple small cracks in concrete floors, there are dozens of products on the market that will provide a firm seal to protect against further damage. These often come in small tubes or in jugs; while some are meant to be applied with a special applicator, others can be simply poured into the crack in order to provide a snug seal.
These fillers are often inexpensive and available in most hardware and department stores. Consumers should keep in mind that they will get what they pay for with these products, so skimping due to a low price is often not the best way to go. Product reviews can be a great help here as they can ensure that the job is done right the first time—with a quality product.
Kits for Moderately-Sized Cracks
The kits that are available for moderately sized cracks are usually a bit larger and more expensive. Many of these are designed to be applied with caulking guns or other pressurized devices. Deep cracks are more difficult to seal properly, so these mixtures must be of a different type and consistency.
Again, consumers should be sure to read all of the directions carefully before using any do-it-yourself product to fix cracks in concrete. Failure to use the correct type of applicator or product for certain types of cracks may result in more damage instead of the expected repair.
Fixing Large Cracks at Home
Consumers who experience large cracks in their concrete foundations and floors may choose to repair the damage on their own, but they should understand that it is often a time-consuming process that requires patience, precision and the right tools. For large structural cracks, the best method often involves mixing an actual cement solution to fill the gap.
However, it is important to ensure that the cement mixture penetrates all the way into the crack in order to form a strong bond, lest the crack worsen and cause even more damage. There are specialized filling machines to do this, and if consumers do not own one, they can usually rent one from their local hardware stores.
02 Most Popular Concrete Crack Repair Method
Steps of Concrete Crack Repair via Mortar
There are several causes for concrete cracks, including shifting ground, accumulating moisture and even hard impacts. Of course, regardless of the cause, it is necessary to repair these cracks as quickly as possible in order to avoid permanent structural damage later down the line.
Remove Damaged Concrete
The first step in repairing or restoring damaged concrete involves removing the part of the concrete that has been damaged. Typically, unless the concrete has experienced a clean break, this will be done with a hammer and a chisel.
Carefully remove the edges around the damaged area and be sure not to instigate any further cracks. Once this has been done, it is imperative to remove any of the leftover rubble and dust. Here, it is wise to use a Shop-Vac or similar tool to ensure that no debris has been left behind. If so, it could cause the mixture used to repair the crack to set improperly, resulting in further damage or more costly repairs.
Prepare Concrete Crack Repair Mixture
The next step in the process involves preparing the product that will be used to fill the crack or hole in the concrete. This cement is usually two parts mix to one part water, and it should be mixed until it forms something of a paste. If it is too soupy, it will not set properly. Then, this mixture should be set aside while a slightly thinner concoction of concrete is mixed; this will be used to seal the bottom and the sides of the damaged area before the thicker paste is used to fill the entire area.
It is important to wait until both preparations are beginning to harden before attempting to fill the area; otherwise, it will run and result in a less-than-impressive repair.
Fill the Crack
Before the crack is filled, the inside of the area, including the walls and the sides, should be coated with the thinner mixture prepared as described above. This way, the thicker paste has a better surface to adhere to and is less likely to run or become un-level. After this has been accomplished, it will be time to use the thicker mixture to seal the area. It should be forced into the area snugly so that no bubbles will form. Afterward, the mixture will need to dry for at least two hours in order to form a firm bond.
Monitor Over Time
Finally, after the two hour time frame has passed and the cement has formed a strong bond, it is important to cover the area with cellophane wrap and moisten it several times per day for about a week. This way, no cracks will form in the cement due to humidity changes and it ‘cures’ the cement for an even better hold. After the week, it is time to remove the cellophane wrap and allow the concrete to dry thoroughly.
While this is the basic process behind concrete repair and restoration, small cracks and other areas may not require as much work. For larger jobs, consumers should consider contacting a professional in order to ensure that no further structural damage will occur.
Steps of Concrete Crack Repair via Epoxy
Concrete cracking is easily stopped by doing a concrete crack injection. The process is fairly easy, but the time it will take to finish the project would depend on the wall’s thickness, the crack’s size and other variables.
Prepare the area with concrete cracking. Before starting the project, expose the cracks in the concrete, brush it or clean it with compressed air.
Set up the injection ports
Surface ports are often used when doing concrete crack injection. These are small tubes made of hard plastic with a flat base. They serve as entryways to get the patching compounds inside the crack. There’s no need to drill into the concrete when one uses surface ports, thus reducing the time it takes to do the job. The base of the surface port is set directly over the crack and glued to the wall or floor using an epoxy paste. The surface ports should be spaced about an inch away from each other.
Seal the wall or floor surface
Seal the surface ports and the concrete cracking with a patching compound like an epoxy adhesive. The adhesive will be cured in 20 to 45 minutes and will provide a surface seal that will hold up during the injection process. The whole concrete cracking should be covered with the adhesive and only the injection ports are left uncovered.
Start the injection process
Start injecting the patching compound from the lowest injection port and continue upwards until the epoxy or polyurethane starts to seep out of the next injection port. That’s the sign that this concrete cracking has been filled. Cap that port and move on to the next injection port, repeating the process until the whole crack has been filled. Use the compression spring to slowly push more patching compound into the crack. This will ensure that the crack is penetrated and will minimize the chances of blow-outs or leaks.
Remove the injection ports
Let the epoxy or polyurethane patch rest for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature. This will allow the patching compound to cure and deeply penetrate into the cracks. You can then remove the injection ports by hitting them with a hammer or trowel. You can smoothen the wall or floor further with a sanding disk.
Some Important FAQ’s regarding Concrete Crack Repair
Is It Good to Hire A Professional for concrete crack repair?
When a repair seems like a huge job, or when the threat of structural compromise is too great, it is often best to hire a team of professionals to perform the repairs. The advantages to hiring professionals to perform these repairs are numerous. First, it is likely that homeowners insurance will pay for a professional repair, but it may not pay for a do-it-yourself job. Second, these contractors are able to provide service guarantees against any issues that may arise due to their work. Finally, professionals possess all of the tools and knowledge to get the job done quickly, easily and correctly the first time—with as little hassle as possible.
What are alternative method of concrete crack repair other than epoxy?
While epoxies are by far the most common products used by do-it-yourselfers, there are other products on the market from which to choose. One of these simply involves pouring a pre-mixed solution over the crack and allowing it to harden. While this may be a good solution for especially tiny cracks, this method does not form the same seal as its epoxy counterparts.
When cracks are large, it may be best to use actual cement to seal them. When large cracks appear in foundations, consumers should be sure to contact their homeowner’s insurance companies and consult with professionals before taking any other steps.
Can we repair cracks in concrete ourselves?
Yes! Sealing concrete cracks as a do-it-yourself project is certainly not difficult as long as the cracks are relatively small. Consumers can find everything they need in their local hardware and department stores, and the repairs should take no more than 30 minutes to one hour to complete.
How to repair wall cracks in concrete?
If the type of crack that you intend to fix is only a minor one that appears on the surface, then you can look into using a patching or even using resurfacing as a way of fixing it. Resurfacing concrete takes very little effort and is very cost effective. A lot of people go with resurfacing as a quick and easy way to take care of most common cracking issues with concrete. After all, these kinds of wall cracks shouldn’t be very problematic at all since it’s only really a tiny minor crack.
Is Concrete Resurfacing Good for Crack Repair?
Using resurfacing to take care of concrete cracks has many different benefits. First of all, it is very cost-effective, which makes it a little easier on your wallet. In total, it will cost you less to do a simple resurfacing job for concrete cracks than it would for using either of the first two methods mentioned here. You may apply this type of solution to either the inside or the outside of your home, no matter what kind of concrete structure you need to work on. It works on not just driveways but also garages, sidewalks, patios, basements, and even concrete walls.
Another great thing about it is that you can use a good Portland-based cement formula to take care of everything. The benefit of which is that if you make it well-formulated, it will end up looking texturally excellent and well-patterned. As a result, this will look fantastic on the finished product, which of course can only end up making the outside of your house look even better.
There are multiple methods for sealing concrete cracks, ranging from epoxies and fillers for small cracks to huge machinery and loads of cement for large cracks. The method consumers choose should be based upon their budget, their expertise and the severity of the problem.