Never underestimate the importance of prep work involved in concrete repairs or resurfacing. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
There’s a process and a real science to doing it right and achieving the desired result. Evaluating concrete and concrete alternative products is the right place to start when experiencing splits, cracks and other forms of concrete damage in your sidewalk.
When it’s an isolated area of damage, particularly one that’s creating a trip hazard, you should be able to get away with a basic concrete repair. Of course, it should be done properly using the right materials.
- The process should begin with a saw cut around the damage to create a well-defined work area. Durability can be negatively affected when this step is overlooked. The repair product should never be put directly on top of the damaged area because secondary cracks or weak zones around the main damage may not be visible to the eye.
- Next, debris should be removed.
- Once the area is cleaned out and taped off, it’s time to add the material. An epoxy mortar product is preferred because it can cure at around 10,000 psi; 2-3 times stronger than concrete.
Pitting and Spalling Overlays
In areas where there’s more widespread pitting and spalling on your concrete sidewalks, an overlay is usually the best solution.
With some overlays, liquid epoxy is mixed with an aggregate to turn it into a mortar, which can be used to resurface the entire area.
Again, the prep work involved can mean the difference between a successful solution and a botched job. It’s important to make minor repairs, prime it and form it before installing the overlay to the entire area. This ensures a long-lasting, attractive finish.
If you have questions about how best to address your concrete sidewalk damage, consult an experienced contractor who can give you viable options.