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Stress, exposure to the elements and salt all wreak havoc on concrete over time. Concrete is not infallible, and pitting is one of the first visible symptoms that a walkway or driveway needs repair. If you have pitted concrete on your property, you can repair it yourself without hiring expensive contractors to replace the entire area. The key to saving your concrete is starting repairs as soon as you notice the pits forming.
Prepare the pits to be filled. This includes cleaning out any debris, loose rocks and dust. Loose materials in the holes will make it harder for the new epoxies and concrete to adhere to the old cement. A wire brush works well to clean out the pits. Sweep up any remaining dust with a broom and spray down the area with a hose to flush out any remaining debris and allow the area to dry.
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Repair small holes and pits that are ½-inch or smaller in diameter with pre-mixed epoxy or latex repair products made specifically for concrete. These products can be purchased at your local home improvement store and are sold as kits or in a tube with a caulking gun application.
Smooth the area you have repaired with a small trowel. If the epoxy has settled, leaving the patch lower than the surrounding concrete, you can repeat the procedure until it's flush with the rest of the area. Allow the patch to set undisturbed for at least a day.
Prepare larger pits and cracks by using a chisel to chip away at the bottom of the pits. You want the bottom of the holes to be slightly wider than the top. This will ensure a long lasting repair as concrete shrinks and expands as it cures and over time. After chiseling, clean the area as described for smaller pits.
Mix your concrete per the instructions on your bag of cement. Only mix as much concrete as you need, it dries fast in small batches and you don't want it to start hardening before you've finished patching your pits.
Slowly pour the concrete mixture into the holes. You will want to pour the concrete in a series of small applications. Use a trowel after each pour to smooth the new concrete. Slowly build the concrete until it is flush with the surrounding cement and trowel the area one last time.
Stake off the patched area for at least three days. Keep the area damp but not wet. Do this by sprinkling the area with water and covering it with a plastic sheet while the concrete cures.
To help avoid future problems, apply a water sealant made specifically for concrete.
If you live in an area where there are extreme temperature changes, regular concrete maintenance and inspection is crucial.