January 2017

DIY Repairs For Concrete In Ottawa

by TRP Ready Mix on January 17, 2017

Concrete in Ottawa gets cracked from time to time, making repairs a must - but unless you know what you're doing, you could cause more harm than good.

What Homeowners Need to Know About Fixing Cracks in Concrete in Ottawa

If you’ve noticed cracks in your concrete wall or foundation, you might be wondering if it’s a serious maintenance issue. Although cracks can be a problem, letting unwanted moisture into your home or even uninvited animal visitors, not all are harmful. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when repairs are needed. Concrete in Ottawa withstands a lot of seasonal wear. The summer brings moisture which can freeze in the winter, leading to cracks and even damage.

So what do you need to watch out for, and what can you do to keep concrete in your Ottawa home in top condition for years to come?

What to Look For

Concrete is a mixture of gravel, sand, water, and cement. Once poured into place, it is cured and becomes a hard surface. During the curing process, the water in the concrete mix evaporates. This can cause some cracks and fractures to appear. This is entirely normal. Hairline cracks aren’t a big problem. It’s the long, wide cracks that you should watch out for, as they can be an indicator of greater structural damage.

Preparing for Repairs

Start by checking to see if the crack is clean and dry. Dirt and moisture can put a halt to repair work, so take the time to prepare the crack you’re working on first. A wire brush or power washer will remove dirt easily. You can then either wait for the spot to dry naturally, but if that’s not an option, use a hair dryer to speed things up. This is extremely handy for cracks low to the ground, as you’re not stuck waiting for water to evaporate naturally.

Widen the Crack

It sounds counterproductive, but widening the crack is a vital step for repairs. Any new concrete or sealant you use needs to secure to the existing surfaces, after all. Use a chisel and hammer to gently tap out space below the crack. When you pour in your sealant, it’ll adhere better and help create a stronger surface.

Patching With Pre-Mixed Concrete

When choosing concrete, Ottawa homeowners have plenty of choice. Pre-mixed concrete is a great option that gives a great finish. Start with a bonding agent inside and along the crack for a rock-solid seal. Then evenly trowel in your pre-mixed concrete until the crack is filled. Make sure you’ve got an even surface, too, and use your trowel or a brush to match the level of the existing concrete piece.

Patching With Epoxy and Injections

Epoxy can be used to patch cracks up to a half inch in thickness. Foam sealant injections, meanwhile, are expandable, water-resistant materials that will do in a pinch. What they lack in strength they make up for flexibility and versatility, and are great for smaller jobs. Avoid using caulking or hydraulic cement, though; they’re not water-resistant, and won’t get as good a bond with the existing concrete.

It’s not hard to do your own concrete patchwork, but if you’re unsure or want a professional finish, then call your local experts. They’ll be able to help you determine the best course of action for any concrete cracks you might find on your Ottawa property.