A chip in your polished concrete floor or even your front step or walkway is unsightly, but usually not a cause for alarm. Once you determine the cause of the chip--which is easy if you know something was dropped on it--you can decide on a method of repair. Partial depth imperfections like shallow chips can be filled with epoxy or new concrete, and the patch should last just as long as the original surface if you do it right.
Things You'll Need
- Circular saw
- Concrete saw blade
- Concrete mix
- 2x4 scrap
- Steel trowel
- Instacrete (optional)
- Epoxy patch kit (optional)
- Injectable epoxy kit (optional)
Patching with Concrete
Use a circular saw outfitted with a concrete blade to cut away the broken pieces. Cut down at a slight angle so that the bottom is wider than the top, and go at least a half-inch deep. This will give your patch a solid surface with which to bond. Many patches fail because they rise to a very thin layer at the edges, and that thin layer eventually cracks away.
Use a hammer and chisel to knock away any other protruding pieces inside the crack. You want to make the surface as smooth as possible.
Dampen the area before you pour in the new mix. Cement, the active ingredient that holds the sand and gravel together, cures with water, so wetting the surface will help the new concrete bond to the old.
Mix your concrete in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour it slightly full and tamp it down with your 2x4. When the new mix is packed in tightly, screed off the excess by wiping the 2x4 across the surface.
Use a steel masonry trowel to further smooth your new patch, and then cover the job with plastic sheeting. If your patch is in the direct sun, it’s a good idea to shade it to prevent the mix from drying out and failing to cure.
Concrete Patch Alternatives
Evaluate the damage. If you are dealing with a slight surface crack or a minor chip, then try a product like Instacrete. It’s a moldable epoxy that is easier to work with than other two-part systems. It dries to a standard gray color, and it purports to be harder than the concrete itself.
Choose a two-part epoxy combined with sand for slightly larger imperfections. You can fill a shallow crack with the epoxy on its own , or use with a standard concrete sand for larger flaws. As with any patch job, the surface must be free of debris. Unlike a concrete patch, epoxy must be applied to a dry surface.
Use an injectable epoxy for minor cracks in poured concrete walls. They are made of polyurethane and they forcefully expand to fill the area and even any extra void at the surface up to about a half-inch. You can buy a kit from the hardware store that includes everything you need, and it’s a fast-drying alternative.
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