A bag of concrete mix, water, a concrete trial, and some online videos about concrete repair and you may think that you are perfectly ready to tackle a DIY concrete repair project as a homeowner. After all, the process does sound simple enough whether you are dealing with cracks, breakage, or pitting. However, concrete repair is not always as cut and dry as it seems. Here are three of the most frequent mistakes homeowners tend to make when it comes to concrete repair.
Mistake: Not appropriately mixing the concrete repair mix.
Why? The concrete repair mix that you pick up at the home improvement store will offer strict mixing directions. Even though it is likely that you will stick to these directions, not every mix will work right for the right type of repair. For example, if you are filling cracks, the repair solution should be thin enough to seep down into the gaps a little; whereas if you are fixing a chipped corner on a concrete step, you will need the mixture to be a bit more dense and stable.
Mistake: Opting for regular concrete mix over concrete repair products.
Why? Concrete repair and patch mixture is a bit different than regular concrete mixes. The products designed specifically for repair contain bonding agents that promote adhesion to the existing concrete, while regular concrete mixes do not. If you cannot find the repair mixture specifically, you can add your own bonding agents, which usually come in liquid form and are added during the mixing process. Without the bonding agent, you will see your applied mixture pull away from the concrete that you already have.
Mistake: Applying concrete fixes during the wrong kind of weather.
Why? If the temperature drops after you have applied a fix mixture to your concrete, you can see huge problems with the application. Most concrete professionals recommend that concrete mixes only be applied at a temperature of 40 degrees or more. The colder it is outdoors, the longer it will take for a mixture to cure. Low temperatures can make it nearly impossible for the new mixture to adhere to the existing surface area. Additionally, moisture is your enemy when you are dealing with concrete, as it can wreak havoc on the consistency of your mix. Before you get started with a concrete repair job, make sure you check the local forecast.
When you take a look at how easy it is to make a big mistake with a concrete repair job, it is easy to see why most homeowners choose to leave this process to a professional who has the right tools and experience to get the job done well. If you have an issue with your concrete, be sure to talk to a concrete repair contractor like D & R Masonry Restoration, Inc. before you try to handle the problem all by yourself.