Seven Methods To Repair Cracked Or Uneven Concrete Patio
Concrete patios are popular for their neat appearance and durability, but they tend to show cracks or become uneven. There are seven ways in which you can deal with these issues.
Many people prefer using concrete because of its durability and attractiveness. But with time, you may need concrete repairs in Denver due to cracks and unevenness due to weather, settlement, erosion and general use. Here are some methods used to fix cracked and uneven concrete patios:
Resurfacing The Surface
Resurfacing the concrete patio’s surface is a superficial solution that works well enough to hide the problem. It makes the cracks and furrows on the surface disappear for some time. Though sinking and settling are still major issues leaving empty spaces below the patio. These spaces can cause concrete slabs to rock sideways and lead to a hazardous situation later.
Patching is a viable solution to deal with small cracked portions of the patio. The method involves removing a small portion of the slab and packing sand underneath the slab to level or support it before replacing the concrete.
You need to cut and remove the damaged section with the help of a crowbar. Then fill in the sand and pack it down firmly with a tamping machine before putting the slab back in its place. This is done to prevent the sand from shifting and allow the slab to sink again. You also need to fill the gap around the section to prevent water from entering.
Veneering is all about creating a new concrete layer to fill gaps and dips on the surface. The patio surface needs to be roughed up with the help of a hammer and chisel so that the new layer sticks to it. You can also use a masonry drill to create a series of holes to make the new layer stick.
After the prep work, pour a thin mix of mortar and smooth it carefully so that it matches the level of the old patio. Let the mixture cure for thirty minutes and finally, finish the surface with a trowel or brush
It’s like veneering but for the entire surface.
It starts with removing loose concrete and dust before building a box frame around the edge at about 2 or 3 inches above the current surface level. Then, you add a layer of sand to the cracks and depressions before patting it down. Pour the concrete mixture and let it cure for the recommended time before finishing with a trowel or brush.
Slab jacking is a standard solution that you can use for lifting a concrete slab back to its original level without having to replace it. This method is also known as mud jacking or slab lifting. It’s not exactly something you’d DIY because of the special equipment and expert skills needed for the project. It’s best to hire a contractor for concrete repairs in Denver for the best results.
During the process, a concrete mixture is inserted into the cracks and holes and under the surface. The mixture fills all the gaps and forces the uneven slabs to rise to the level of other slabs nearby. The mixture closes the holes and cracks while hardening to prevent any movement or rocking.
Gaps below the concrete slabs where it has not sunk are also filled. It helps consolidate soft or loose soil in the upper layers, creating a solid base and preventing movement and water from pooling or running in the foundation.
But, the usage of mortar makes this method prone to erosion. Moreover, the final product adds to the weight and aggravates the issue of settling.
Polymer Slab Jacking
Polymer slab lifting involves injecting a polymer foam below the surface through strategically drilled holes. The polymer foam fills the gaps where water would have pooled and expands to lift the slab to the right level.
This method is more affordable because the polymer foam is much cheaper than concrete and the foam dries up much faster within minutes rather than days. But you usually need professional help for this method as well.
Replacing The Concrete
Replacing the concrete is the most involved method because it involves stripping the old patio first. Assuming you are done, you need to box the area you want to concrete with a frame and add a generous layer of sand for a level surface.
A spirit level is helpful in determining your accuracy but remember to leave a slight gradient to allow water to run off the patio during rains. Using broken pieces of the old patio as aggregate adds compression strength.
Your concrete mix should consist of one part cement, two parts sand and three or four parts aggregate. More aggregate means a stronger concrete surface. The mix should be wet enough to fill all the surface area including corners and edges. Level it off with the help of a spirit level before tamping the mix to get rid of air pockets.
Use a long wooden plank to slide it back and forth on the box frame’s edge to get the correct level. The plank should be straight so that the surface isn’t uneven.
Let the mix set while you keep an eye on the weather conditions because too much heat can cause the concrete to dry before the curing process is over. Remove the frame after the concrete has fully set after a couple of days.
These are the main methods of fixing cracked and uneven concrete patios. Depending on your skills and resources, you can go DIY or call a contractor for concrete repairs in Denver.