If you have a sidewalk on your property, especially if you learned how to make a concrete sidewalk on your own, odds are you’re going to have to repair it at some point.
Concrete is a durable, versatile material, but there’s many factors that can lead to a damaged sidewalk. Roots can crack pieces and push them out of alignment. Cold temperatures and ice can lead to damage and normal wear and tear can create dangerous situations or unsightly problems. So we’re going to go through some basic sidewalk here and show you that with a little know and some standard tools. You can do it yourself and do it right. Some concrete basics. Concrete is a composite material that’s made from a few different elements and makes a fine and course pieces is held together by liquid cement binder.
This means that getting the right mix of water and concrete is key to the right strength and drying time. Check your package instructions, but generally you’re looking to create a peanut butter consistency. Concrete works best between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit when there’s no rain. There are lots of different types of concrete that you can find in Lowes covering all kinds of applications. Water resistant, fast setting, high strength, reinforced with fiberglass and even countertop style. Make sure you choose the type that is recommended for your project.
There are two levels of sartwell crack you might see. The first is a hairline crack like this. The second is a wider crack like this one for hairline crack. Remove any loose debris from the damaged area with a wire brush and broom. Then you can use a court gun loaded with a masonry crank filler to fill the crack.
Or you can use a vinyl concrete patching agent and a putty knife to fill it in for a wider crack. You will need to use a small sledge hammer and a chisel. You want to make the bottom of the crack wider than the top, which sounds tricky, but it just means angling the chisel like. So this will help lock the patch in place and keep it from moving. Clean the debris with a wire brush and broom with the area, and then fill the crack with a vinyl patching mix and a trowel.
Now, we’ve all seen concrete like this before, crumbling edges, missing corners, but don’t worry, we can fix that, too. Now, I will say, if it’s more than just a broken edge or a missing corner, you may have to replace the whole section. But if it’s a localized problem, you can fix it. You may also find it helpful to know some DIY tips on Resurfacing Concrete.
First, plan out all the debris with a wire brush and a broom and chisel out until you have strong concrete on all sides. If this piece will see a lot of traffic or wait like a concrete step, then you’ll want to drill out a hole with a masonry bit. First, take a piece of steel down like this called a rebar rod or reraised and coated with a latex bonding product and inserted into the hole halfway. Apply that same bonding product to the broken edges of the sidewall, making sure to get into all of the crevices, mix up your concrete patch with water and add some of the bonding product to the mix.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific amounts. Use your scrap wood to create a form for the concrete to shape to put your mixture into the form with a trowel, tamp it down and smooth out the top. You can use a broom to lightly scour the top for texture. Leave those boards in place for a week until address and then you’ll be good to go when a piece of your sidewalk is too damaged to use, it can be best. Just rip it out and start over.
First, you will need to remove the existing sidewalk piece once the piece is gone. Clear any rocks or debris from under the spot where you will put the new slab, dig around the edges to create a perimeter. Then it’s time to build a form. You want the top edge of the form to be even with the existing sidewalk. So it all sits flush you steak’s or scrap wood to hold your form in place and place the stakes regularly to avoid the form from going outward.
Make sure the stakes sit below the top edge of the form, or else cut them flush. Spray the inside of the form with oil for a clean release. Put a couple of inches of sand in the form and wet it down, mix your concrete in, poured into place and make sure to get into all the corners for an easy way.
Then comes the screen. Screening is when you use a longboard to flatten the concrete, move it slowly from one end to the other with a short sawing motion. Add concrete to any low spots as you go. Then you lightly smooth the surface. But be careful not to dig the float corner in or you will have to risk it. Let the concrete dry for thirty minutes, then use a broom to create a non-slip texture lightly place in plastic on top and let it dry for several days.
Remove the plastic and let it dry for a couple of more days, and then you can remove the forms and replace the dirt around the edges. So we’ve covered everything from tiny cracks to replacing whole sections. And while some of it can be time-consuming, you can do it yourself and you can do it right help from Sunny Desert Concrete.