Perfecting your concrete at home

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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My family and I spend a lot of time outdoors. We enjoy running, hiking, swimming and going on family walks. When we go out for meals and we have the option to sit outside, we always take it (unless it’s voggy!). At home, we do the same thing. We enjoy many a meal outdoors. Good thing we live in Hawaii, where we can enjoy the weather year-round.

We have a covered concrete pad on our lanai where we have placed an outdoor table and chairs. This area has served as our dining room on holidays, my office on workdays, a hangout spot for pau hanas, and a breakfast nook for enjoying morning coffee and the newspaper. Unfortunately, the concrete also has a large crack that runs across it. Not only is it an eyesore, but it also makes it difficult to clean. Luckily, the fix is easy.

You’ll need a chisel, hammer, stiff brush, a caulking gun, trowel, safety glasses, gloves, concrete repair material and sealant. You may also need a broom and a vacuum.

First, don your safety glasses and gloves. Next, widen the crack using the chisel and hammer. Widening the crack will allow you to clean it up more easily, ensuring there are no large pieces of debris or dirt inside. The repair material will bond better to a clean surface. Once you are done chiseling, clean up the area with the stiff brush. Remove as much loose debris as you can. Sweep and vacuum, if necessary.

Next, fill the area. Cut the tip of your concrete repair tube nozzle and insert it into the caulking gun. Slowly work your way across the crack, ensuring that you get the caulk all the way down into the crack. Once it is filled, use the trowel to smooth it over. Refer to manufacturer instructions for the time you’ll need to allow the material to cure.

After curing, you may want to apply sealant. The sealant will help to prevent the concrete from absorbing stains later. Some concrete repair caulk has sealant built in. If yours doesn’t you will need to purchase sealant separately. Check the instructions for proper application. You may need to apply two coats of sealant. If so, apply the second coat before the first one dries. If there is excess, clean it immediately.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.