Concrete slab repair is a necessary evil for any concrete structure. Over time, concrete will inevitably crack and start to show signs of wear and tear. While concrete is a very strong and durable material, it is not immune to the elements and will eventually need to be repaired. The concrete slab repair process is not overly complicated, but it does require some specific steps to be done properly. Here's a brief outline of three major steps involved in concrete slab repair.
Remove the Damaged Concrete
Damaged concrete often appears chipped, flaked, or otherwise worn down. It presents a safety hazard and can also lead to further damage if left unaddressed. Therefore, the first step in concrete slab repair is to remove the damaged concrete. This can be done with a chisel and hammer or with a concrete saw.
The chisel-and-hammer method is the more traditional way of removing concrete. It is also the slower method, as it requires manually chipping away at the concrete. You have to be careful not to damage the surrounding concrete, or you'll create more work for yourself. Also, wear protective eyewear and gloves when removing the concrete, as it can be sharp and dusty.
The concrete saw method is the quicker way to remove damaged concrete. It is also the more difficult method, as it requires operating a concrete saw. The saw will need to be set to the correct depth to avoid damaging the surrounding concrete. It works by cutting through the concrete and breaking it into smaller pieces. So if you're not comfortable using this equipment, it's best to leave this step to a professional.
Prepare the Area for Repair
Once you remove the damaged concrete, you'll need to prepare the area for repairs. This step involves cleaning out the concrete debris and making sure the area is smooth. You'll also need to create a concrete form to contain the new concrete. The concrete form can be made out of wood or metal and should be at least a few inches taller than the repair area. Concrete tends to shrink as it dries, so you need to account for this by making the form taller.
Pour and Spread the Concrete
After you create the concrete form, you're ready to pour the concrete. This step is pretty straightforward—just pour the concrete into the form and use a trowel to spread it evenly. Be sure to pour the concrete slowly and in small batches. Concrete is a heavy material, and if you pour too much of it at once, the weight can cause it to sag. Take your time and pour it in small batches and be sure to vibrate the concrete form as you pour to help remove any air bubbles.
Once you finish pouring the concrete, use a trowel to smooth out the surface. Then, let the concrete dry. Depending on the temperature and humidity, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. After the concrete is dry, you can remove the concrete form.
Contact a local residential concrete repair service to learn more.