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DIY Concrete Repair: 6 Things You Need to Know

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At UNIQUE Paving Materials, we know how daunting chips and cracks in your concrete can be, so we want to help. For more than 60 years, we’ve offered quality products and services in the paving industry and we’re here to share everything you need to know about your first DIY concrete repair project, including recommended products, tools, and tips.

Repairing your concrete when you notice signs of damage or wear and tear can dramatically extend the life of your concrete surfaces, so let’s take a look at best practices.

1. Identify the Damage: Types of Concrete Repair

We’ll start by defining what exactly concrete repair entails. Concrete repair is the process of fixing a portion of concrete that’s exhibiting signs of damage or wear and tear. Effective concrete repair will help restore the qualities of your original concrete surface.

As you begin your DIY concrete repair, the first thing you’ll need to know is how to identify the type of repair that your concrete requires. There are three main categories of concrete damage that will necessitate repairs:

  • Concrete cracks – Cracks are generally simple fixes that can be repaired by patching or grout application. Cracks in concrete may be the most common damage we see, and while they are easy repairs, cracks in your concrete can pose serious risks and should be addressed quickly.
  • Spalling – Spalling is defined as the flaking of concrete and is typically caused by freeze-thaw cycles or poor concrete mixing, and can usually be repaired with sealant and resurfacing. UNIQUE Paving Materials has designed products specifically to help your concrete surfaces withstand frequent freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Sinking and lifting – These may be the most complex concrete issues and often require additional equipment such as jacks or lifts.

It’s imperative to identify which type of concrete damage you’re facing, as it will determine which products and tools are the best fit. If you need help deciding which type of concrete damage you’re up against, our team is here to help!

2. Start with a Mockup or Practice Project First

Starting with a practice portion of concrete for your first DIY concrete repair will allow you to assess your skills and familiarize yourself with the process of the repair. In the long run, starting with a small practice project before jumping into a more extensive at-home concrete repair can save you time and money.

3. Ensure That You’re Working on Clean and Dry Concrete

Moisture is a major factor in the quality of concrete repairs – it can trickle into cracks and holes and compromise the overall strength and integrity of the concrete. To reduce the risk of moisture damage to your concrete, ensure that your surface is clean and dry.

You can clean the concrete surface with a wire brush or broom prior to repairs. If necessary, you can use a power washer to rid the surface of difficult dirt and grime, but if you do so, we recommend utilizing a blower to dry the surface completely before beginning your concrete repair.

4. Make Sure That All Parts Are Compact and Filled

Any hollow portion in concrete as you complete your concrete repair could result in long-term issues. As you apply concrete mix, it may be necessary to use a trowel to spread the mix into hard-to-reach areas.

5. Obtain the Proper Tools for Your Concrete Repair

When prepping and applying concrete repair products it’s important to protect your skin from exposure with long sleeves and gloves. In addition, when prepping the surface, we recommend wearing goggles to shield your eyes from flying dust and debris.

Along with PPE, you’ll need a few tools to safely and successfully complete a DIY concrete repair. The tools needed may vary from project to project, but generally you’ll need the following:

  • Chisel
  • Trowel
  • Bucket
  • Circular saw

6. Choose the Products That Are Best Suited for Your Repair Type

If you’re repairing an area of concrete that is subject to frequent freeze-thaw cycles, our UNIQUE FLEXICRETE® is a good candidate for your concrete repair project. It’s a non-shrink and volume-stable mortar for concrete patching and repair.

We understand that concrete repairs can be an inconvenience, especially when they’re performed in high-traffic areas. Add UNIQUE® High-Performance Fast-Set Mortar (25%) to UNIQUE FLEXICRETE® XP Mortar (75%) and the result will be a polymer-modified concrete repair material with an initial set time of approximately one hour.

Concrete repairs in areas with running water or water damage can be especially challenging. POSTCRETE GROUT/WS® is a UNIQUE solution that’s designed specifically for areas that have been affected by water. The blend of hydraulic cement and proprietary ingredients is ideal for anchoring bolts, stopping running water, repairing pool areas, and more.

After filling a concrete crack you’ll want to make sure that you properly seal the concrete. Once everything is dry and completely set, we recommend REJUVIT® Gilsonite-Modified Concrete Resurfacer for sealing.

Our products are a user-friendly, cost-effective choice for any DIY concrete repair project. If you find yourself in need of guidance for your DIY project, our team provides on-site training. When you choose UNIQUE for your concrete repair materials, you’ll receive products that offer excellent bond strength and rapid strength development while improving the longevity of your concrete surfaces.

Follow Our How-To Guide on Patching Concrete

Patching concrete is a simple 8-step process:

  1. Prepare the concrete and clean the surface
  2. Wet the surface
  3. Prep the mixture
  4. Form a barrier for the concrete
  5. Pour and fill holes
  6. Wait for the concrete mix to dry
  7. Seal the concrete
  8. Remove the barriers

That’s it! Check out our “How to Patch Concrete” blog post for an in-depth guide on concrete repair.

Additional Repair Options

In addition to concrete repair, we offer solutions for pavement preservation and asphalt repair. Our asphalt repair products are the perfect solution for repairing your home asphalt basketball court and much more.

Contact Us Today to Start Your Concrete Repair Project

If you’re ready to take a crack at repairing your concrete, turn to UNIQUE for the most effective repair products. Contact our team today if you have any questions about which products are right for your project.