A little crack in your concrete floor doesn’t need to turn into a huge headache. Whether you are a DIY pro or a master of only the most basic handyman skills, there are things that you can do to help minimize damage from cracked concrete. Your local hardware store will carry a variety of patching compounds, such as concrete caulking or epoxy filler, which can be sufficient to repair small cracks or pits. However, wider cracks and those measuring more than a quarter of an inch require a more involved repair process, which we will outline for you here. The important thing to remember is that concrete in a poor state will continue to deteriorate without proper care – you can fix some types of cracks on your own, but for larger jobs, professional help is highly recommended.
Gather Your Materials
For larger cracks or potholes you will require a concrete repair mixture, such as mortar, and a bonding agent. You do not want to repair cracks in concrete with cement. Other tools that you will need include a hammer, chisel, wire brush, and protective mask.
Prepare the Site
Take a look at the size and shape of the area which you need to repair. Bonding agents will not adhere as well to rough, cracked edges, so it’s important to chisel away these surfaces until they are relatively smooth. After you have smoothed away the edges sweep or shop vacuum away all the remaining dust and debris. Once the space is cleared you will need to thoroughly clean the surface with a wire brush and water and allow to dry.
Once your site has been cleaned and had time to dry, it is time to apply the bonding agent. Using a paint brush make sure to ever the entire area with a thin coat, this will aid in adherence. Mix the mortar in a large bucket according to the instructions, making sure to have the correct constancy – not too thick and not too thin. Once the mixture has been prepared, you can begin to apply the mortar to the repair area using a trowel. Make sure to apply enough pressure to fill in all holes. Pat the mortar down with the flat side of the trowel and then smooth over the surface, scraping away any excess as you go. This step may need to be repeated. Once the mortar has be smoothed, allow to dry for 24 hours.
This process can be time consuming and difficult to get right, and mistakes can be hard to fix. When in doubt, or for large scale repairs, a professional is always the safest choice.