Cracks in concrete are a fact of life. When the ground settles beneath a structure, whether it be your porch, sidewalk or the concrete floor in your basement, cracks occur. These cracks can range from 1/32 of an inch to 1/2 inch or larger. The following remedies are for cosmetic cracks, less than 1/4 of an inch wide.
Things You'll Need
- 1 inch putty knife
- 1 gallon plastic bucket
- 40 pound bag of vinyl concrete patcher
- Medium weight rock hammer
- Cloth rags
Simple Steps for Filling Cosmetic Cracks
Before you choose from the wide variety of concrete fillers on the market, determine whether the cracks you see represent damage to the structural integrity of a wall or support. Determine if something could come crashing down, or if the task at hand is more cosmetic in nature. The following instructions deal only with cosmetic applications. If you have concerns over structural issues, consult a licensed contractor before proceeding further.
Inspect the length of the crack to see if, using a rock hammer, you can level any edges that could eventually jut above the surface of the crack. If an edge along the crack looks thin and fragile enough to break off, it probably will, sooner or later. So tap it with the hammer to crush the masonry into a fine dust. Clean out the entire crack with a brush and some slightly damp rags. Be sure to let the gap dry fully before you fill it with the homemade concrete filler.
Whether you need to fill a crack in a concrete wall or just patch up some minor cracks in your sidewalk, the process is pretty much the same. Choose a concrete filler which contains a vinyl component as part of the mix. The flexibility of these solutions will pay off in the long run. Pour the concrete filler into a gallon-sized bucket and add water according to the instructions on the packaging. Stir according to the instructions.
Allow the concrete filler to reach a semi-fluid state, according to the package directions. Scoop a small amount onto the blade of your putty knife. Press the mixture into the gap and spread it out evenly, using a painter's stroke at the surface. Wipe away excess mix at the surface, using semi-wet rags, so the entire area looks even. Check your work by placing your eye at surface level. Once finished, the entire length of the crack should feel as smooth as possible, with no indentations. Allow the crack to dry completely before painting or performing any other surface treatment around the seal.
- Photo Credit Terre craquelÃ©e image by nfrPictures from Fotolia.com cracked wall image by Abrie Viljoen from Fotolia.com
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