Wondering If Your Concrete Steps Can Be Repaired? This Is How It's Done

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If you have concrete steps leading to your entry door, they should be kept in good repair. Cracks or chips in the steps detract from your home's appearance, and they may even be tripping hazards. If the damage isn't too bad, you might be able to repair the steps yourself. This is how you do it.

Clean The Steps

Start with clean, dry steps so the filler bonds properly. Sweep dust and dirt out of your work area. Scrape dirt out of the cracks. If the edges of a big chip are crumbling, break apart the loose crumbles so the edges are smooth. When the steps are clean, wash them with water from your garden hose to make sure all the dust is gone. Once the steps are dry, you are ready to proceed with the repairs.

Fill In Cracks

Use concrete crack filler to close small cracks. This comes in a squeezable container with a narrow tip, so you can squeeze the filler deep into the crack. Use a putty knife to scrape away the excess and make the top of the crack level. If the crack is fairly wide, it's easier to use filler supplied in a container that you can scoop out and push into the crack. Flatten the top with a trowel so the step is level on top. Small repairs may not be visible. If they are noticeable once they've cured, you may want to resurface the steps by applying a concrete resurfacing product that makes the steps a uniform color.

Repair Chips

Repairing chips on the edges is more difficult. You need to make a form out of wood that will hold the wet concrete in place while it hardens. Use a board with the exact height as the step. Push the board against the front of the step and hold it in place with a brick. Then pour the concrete mixture into the hole formed by the board and the chipped part of the step. Tamp the mixture down as you pour it in to get rid of air pockets. Make the top of the hole level with the step and the board, and then wait for the concrete to cure.

If a corner is chipped off the step, you make repairs the same way, except you need two boards. The ends of the boards meet at the corner to form the hole where you'll pour in the cement. Since the outside board won't have a lower step to rest on, you'll need to build a brace, or find something of the right height to rest it on.

If the crumbles are extensive, the damaged part of the concrete may need to be cut away before it can be repaired. While it is easy to fill in tiny cracks, when it comes to repairing crumbling steps, it's often best to call in a contractor. It takes specialized tools, skills, and experience to do the job right. You not only want the steps to look good, you want the repairs to be strong, so the steps don't crack under your weight and cause you to fall.

For more information, contact S&W Concrete or a similar company.

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28 May 2015

Make Your Walkway Wonderful

I own a small office building, and recently, I was looking for ways to improve the building's exterior. I felt that the whole office was very plain and lacked curb appeal. I want clients and business contacts to be impressed by the building and the grounds before they even step through the door. I knew that one thing I definitely needed to do was replace the crumbling walkway. I called a concrete contractor about fixing the walkway, and was impressed when he told me that I could actually make it look like a brick pathway, using stamped concrete. I decided to go for it, and it made a big difference in the appearance of the outside of the office. I think that more people should be aware of how they can use stamped concrete to improve their business's curb appeal.