Concrete can develop cracks over time due to exposure to weather and heavy weight. A crack must be sealed to prevent it from worsening. A Quikrete backer rod is a non-absorbent foam “rope” that is inserted into concrete either horizontally or vertically to seal cracks. It acts as a filler before the final concrete sealer is applied above it to fill in the crack. When properly inserted, backer rods create a backstop for the sealer. Quikrete manufactures backer rods in 20-foot lengths in either 3/4- or 1-inch diameters. Before you can change a Quikrete backer rod, however, you must extract the rod that is currently in place.
- Waterproof gloves
- Safety glasses
- Hammer and chisel
- Cement sealant remover
- Putty knife
- Bristle brush
- Quikrete backer rods
- Utility knife
- Caulk gun
- Polyurethane concrete crack sealer
Extracting Backer Rods
Work in a well-ventilated area. Wear safety glasses and waterproof gloves before working with polyurethane products such as sealant.
Clean the cracked cement area. Break off any loose cement or old cement sealant with a chisel or hammer. Chip off the cracked area so it is a minimum of 1/4 inch wide. Use cement sealant removal, according to manufacturer instructions, if necessary.
Dig with the chisel or a putty knife to extract the current backer rod in place.
Clean off the area with a bristle brush and cloth. Allow the area to dry before proceeding
Installing Backer Rods
Cut the backer rod to the correct length with a utility knife. Use your hands or a narrow tool to push the rod into the crack. Place the rod so it rests parallel to about halfway down the depth of the crack.
Be careful not to stretch or puncture the rod to completely seal the crack.
Place a polyurethane concrete crack sealer into a caulk gun. Cut off the nozzle tip of the sealer at an angle with the utility knife.
Point the caulk gun along the crack. Force the concrete sealant caulk into the crack filling it up to the backer rod.
Remove any excess sealant and smooth over the area with a trowel. Allow the sealant at least two hours to dry before placing any weight on the concrete.
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