How to Repair Precast Concrete

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Decorative pre-cast concrete for larger homes or buildings
Decorative pre-cast concrete for larger homes or buildings (Image: steps 3 image by Joe Houghton from Fotolia.com)

Pre-cast concrete steps last about 15 years before they start to deteriorate. Before they deteriorate, they start to rock owing to settlement. Its easy to fix the rocking by leveling their foundation, but you can't fix the chipping and cracking without some imagination. Just by using some off the shelf acrylic tile setting compound, you can add years to the life of the pre-cast steps.

Things You'll Need

  • 50-pound bag FlexBond fortified thinset
  • Drill
  • Paint mixer atachment
  • 12 inch trowel
  • 4 inch trowel
  • Steel brush
  • Paintable caulking
  • Caulking gun
  • Paint brush

Unstack the pre-cast steps if they are in 2 or 3 separate steps. Brush them down with a steel brush. If they are 3 or 4 steps in one pre-cast piece you can't unstack and you can skip the last caulking step. Make sure they are dust free.

Mix the thin-set as per instructions using the drill and paint mixer. Trowel out the thin-set onto the step using the 4-inch trowel and spread evenly using 12-inch trowel. Use the smaller trowel to reshape the nosing on each step as necessary. Let dry overnight.

Re-stack the steps. If they are more than one piece use paintable caulking to make them appear one piece. Let dry overnight and then paint any color.

Tips & Warnings

  • This I came across by accident. I've patched my driveway with it and fixed a few pre-cast concrete pieces. Both the driveway and the concrete have lasted through a few Canadian winters for great reliability test.
  • Make sure the thin-set is fairly viscous. Do not trowel too much. If you need to go back and do another thin coat, that's okay.

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