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Ror Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila. Despite its reputation as one of the most rugged building materials ever conceived, even concrete has a sensitive side. Drying shrinkage, chemical or environmental corrosion, or even just regular wear and tear can create cracks that grow in size and severity if left untreated. Fortunately, small cracks in driveways, stairs, or the foundation can be repaired without too much muss or fuss. So, put on your gloves and safety glasses, and add these solid concrete repair solutions to your masonry skill set!
These hairline cracks, often created when concrete weathers and separates, can be easily and economically filled. Cracked concrete on stair edges or corners can rob a walkway of style while also posing a safety hazard to passersby.
Fortunately, fixing the issue and restoring the integrity of concrete stairs can be done using simple materials and tools. Forgotten cracks in your concrete foundation today can present serious structural issues that may require a professional concret.
However, homeowners can and should rein in smaller cracks that measure between one-eighth and one-quarter of an inch. Disclosure: BobVila. You agree that BobVila. All rights reserved. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Get cracking on these simple but vital repair solutions! Restore concrete with help from a pro. Some jobs are better left to the professionals. Find trusted experts in your area how to plant arborvitae emerald green compare multiple quotes.
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Dec 17, · Measure the length, width and depth of the area you want to fill with dirt. Record your dimensions in inches. For example, suppose that the length is 10 feet ( inches), width is 5 feet ( Once the concrete has lost its sheen, go over it with a wood float, using arcing motions to smooth the surface. After that, finish the conrete with a stiff-bristled broom to make the surface nonslip. Jul 28, · Do you have the metrics in place to measure and track your results? Do you have a good mix of ambitious goals and more realistic targets? Setting business goals is all about intentionally creating the business (and ultimately the life) that you want. Making sure that you have the right business goals in place will make you more likely to.
Last Updated: March 2, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Gerber Ortiz-Vega. Gerber specializes in providing brick and stone laying services, concrete installations, and masonry repairs.
Gerber has over four years of experience running GO Masonry and over ten years of general masonry work experience. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewed , times. Knowing how to pour concrete can help you save a few dollars on small projects around the house. You can pour concrete using items you have in the shed or garage; it does not have to take any special tools to do minor projects. Pouring concrete takes a little muscle as the mixture is quite heavy. Otherwise, using these few steps, you can easily accomplish your concrete projects. Watch this premium video Upgrade to watch this premium video Get advice from an industry expert in this premium video.
Before you pour concrete, add a concrete mix and water into a concrete mixer or wheelbarrow. Mix the concrete until smooth and pour it into the mold. Starting at the uphill point, use a screed tool to flatten the wet concrete. Then, float the newly-screeded surface to further compact the concrete. Finally, use a broom or trowel to create some traction so your concrete doesn't get slippery when wet. To learn how to seal your concrete, keep reading! Did this summary help you?
Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article parts. Tips and Warnings. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Clear the area of any objects or material that would interfere in the pouring process. This includes grass, rocks, trees, shrubs, and even old concrete. Clear away everything until raw earth is exposed. Prepare your subbase. Your subbase is another word for any material on which the concrete rests.
Usually, granular fill or road base is used as a subbase, although in some rare cases, soil itself can be used if it is extremely compacted and stable. Make sure your subgrade is properly compacted and stabilized before adding the subbase. Open-grade stone lack the smaller stones, giving water a way to pass through. Plus, it's less expensive. On the downside, it doesn't really compact as well as finer-grade stone. Finer-grade stone is compactable but tends to be more expensive.
Plate compactors can be overkill for small, DIY projects, but offer more power in the compacting process. Prepare a form. A form is usually a wooden perimeter, secured by special nails or screws, and built around the pouring site. A well-built form will help you achieve a better finish on your concrete. Keep a couple things in mind when building your form: For square or rectangular forms, make sure that your corners form 90 degree angles.
Take a tape measure and measure both diagonals of the square or rectangular; they should correspond to one another exactly. If they don't, it's back to the drawing board with your form. Also make sure that the forms have a slight slope to them. If they are completely level, you can expect water build up in the middle of your beautiful concrete.
To eliminate this possibility, create a slight slope of 1" for every 10 feet. Add wire mesh or rebar to the inside of your form for support. Reinforce your concrete with wire mesh or rebar, especially on heavy load-bearing structures, such as driveways. This gives you concrete greater structural integrity. Wire mesh will help guard small cracks growing and spreading, as well as offer stability across two axes wire mesh is welded, where rebar is often tied together.
Rebar may offer better structural integrity, and be better for higher load-bearing surfaces. On the flip side, it doesn't do much to minimize the appearance of cracks that do appear. Part 2 of Mix your concrete. Concrete is mixed by adding together Portland cement, sand, and coarse aggregate gravel together in a ratio of Water is added to the dry mixture to bind all the components together. In a concrete mixer, add the determined amount of water and then the concrete mix.
You can also mix this in a wheelbarrow with a shovel. Use as little water as possible. Water makes the concrete more maneuverable but it also weakens the constitution of the final product. Turn on the machine. The mix will become smooth and consistent. Shut off the machine.
Always wear a ventilated mask, safety glasses, gloves, and long sleeves and pants when mixing concrete. Pour the concrete into the mold. You can sometimes get a truck to pour concrete straight into your form; otherwise, load it into wheelbarrows and tilt them into the form until the high point is reached.
While doing this, enlist some helpers to spread out the concrete with shovels, rakes and "come alongs," which is a special concrete rake. Screed the top of the concrete. Starting at the uphill point, use a screeding tool to flatten out the wet concrete. Screeding involves jiggling a wide plank of wood back and forth, if possible immediately over the forms, to create a flat surface.
Work your way from top to bottom, gently screeding until you have a flat surface. Your concrete surface won't be finished yet, but it will begin to look more complete and professional looking at this point. Float the newly-screeded surface to further compact the concrete. At this point, you should move fairly quickly as the concrete will set fast. Your floating process will contain two steps: Use a large floating device, also known as a bull float, to press down aggregate and help the cream gravel-free concrete rise to the surface.
Do this by moving the bull float away from you, keeping the tailing edge slightly elevated, and then moving the bull float back towards you, keeping the leading edge slightly elevated.
Use a magnesium hand float to go over the surface. After some of the water bleeds to the surface, use long sweeping motions with your hand float. Make control joints every 5 o 6 feet 1. Line up a plank as a straight edge to make periodic joints in the concrete. These joints will help the concrete withstand cracking due to temperature changes. Cut the joints about a quarter of the thickness of the concrete. Create traction. Use a broom to sweep across the surface, creating designs.
This will provide traction on the concrete so it is not as slippery when wet. A soft brush can also be used for a different texture that is less rough. For a smoother surface, but one that still has a pattern to it, you can use the trowel and slide it over the surface in a circular motion.
Make sure the grooves are not so deep that water stands on the surface. Standing water will compromise the integrity of the concrete. If moving the broom over the concrete causes clumps of concrete to aggregate on your broom, it's too early to broom.