Concrete steps of houses that are years old are vulnerable to chipping, breakage, and cracks. Also, when the combination of these long years and extreme climatic conditions take a toll on them, causing flaking, crumbling, or cracking, you need to look out for an easy way to repair them. Not only because they look bad, but cracked or broken steps need to be fixed quickly as someone can easily trip going down or up the stairs and can get seriously injured. However, most people feel that this can be an intimidating task that requires a lot of time and efforts, but actually it is not so. In fact, such small or big cracks are easy to repair, and we all can do it with minimal efforts. Hence, if you are facing the same problem and finding it difficult to fix your broken concrete step, check out the methods mentioned below for help.
Here are simple-to-follow instructions for the same. The products that you may need are:
- Concrete bonding agent
- Ready mix concrete
- Clear silicon caulk
- Putty knife
- Cold chisel
- Wheelbarrow or mixer for concrete
- Caulking gun and waterproof caulk
- Wooden float
- Eye protection
- Plastic sheeting
- Sledge hammer
- Safety gloves
Repairing Small Cracks
Though small or hairline cracks are so minute that they actually cause no damage over a period of time, they can turn bigger and can cause serious injuries. Hence, if these cracks are not repaired in time, the water may get down into them and due to thawing, they may expand. The first step in repairing small cracks is to clean the crack using a piece of wire or a dash of air from an air compressor. Put clear silicon caulk, a waterproof filler and sealant, along the length of the crack, and with the help of a putty knife, insert the caulk into the crack. This will fill the crack and prevent the water from entering it. After this, smooth the surface with concrete and finally, cover the surface for a few hours so that nobody steps on it.
Repairing Large Cracks
To repair them, first remove all the loose and crumbling concrete from the edges. For this, you can use a cold chisel or sledge hammer to break and remove the loose pieces. Cut the bottom of the crack into a reverse 'V' shape, having at least one-inch bottom width. Remove the loose pieces and cover the expanded crack with the bonding agent. While it dries, following the manufacturer's instructions, prepare a mass of ready mix concrete in a wheelbarrow or concrete mixer of proper consistency. Using a wooden float, pack the prepared mixture into the expanded crack and level it with the surface. Allow the concrete to set for about 30 to 45 minutes and then, using an old broom or even a whisk, create a slightly rough surface on it, in order to avoid people from slipping over it. Use a heavy plastic sheet to cover the area and remove it only to wet the patch with a mist of water. This will help in not allowing the concrete to dry quickly, which is good for its strength and durability. After a week or so, remove the sheet and you will see that your broken step is completely repaired.
This is all about repairing; this is not as difficult as it seems to be. Moreover, since most of the things used for this purpose are cheap and readily available, you can easily do it on your own, that too with low repair cost.