LESLIE: Now we’ve got Paulette from Illinois on the line who’s dealing with a concrete cracking issue. Tell us what’s going on.
PAULETTE: My entry, when you come into my house, the sidewalk – oh, I don’t know – the walkway? Just where the step is and the walkway is, there’s a huge gap. It was small but now it’s getting a lot larger. It’s like 1½ to – 1 to 1½ inches. I just measured, so – and then it’s on a decline. I noticed that from this crack, all the way to the – I would say it’s like one, two – I would say three squares of concrete? And it’s going downward.
TOM: OK. So, underneath the step, you’re stepping down to a sidewalk or a patio? Is that correct?
PAULETTE: Right. Like a small patio, yes. It’s about …
TOM: OK. And so the patio has slid away, so to speak, from the step.
PAULETTE: Right. It cracked away, yes.
TOM: It cracked away. So it was – at one point in time, it was one piece – which would be odd, by the way – but now you’re telling me that there’s a big crack there.
TOM: And the crack is as wide as the step or wider?
PAULETTE: It’s about, let me see, probably about 6 feet long.
PAULETTE: It’s as long as my – that little sidewalk area.
TOM: What you’re going to do is this: you’re going to use an epoxy patching compound.
TOM: Yes. Epoxy. And the reason you’re going to do that is because the epoxy is going to stick to the old concrete.
What happened here, Paulette, was when this was originally built, there should have been an expansion joint put in there. This was improperly constructed, because you’re not going to be able to stop a staircase or a step and a patio from separating like that. So because they built it the way they did, you have a crack. So now you have to patch that and you don’t want to use just regular concrete for that because if you do, it won’t stick.
What you do need to do is to use epoxy patching compound. And the epoxy will adhere to the old concrete and it may be a slightly different color. But if you do a nice, neat job, that will stop any water from getting in there.
And that’s important, too, because if the water gets in there, then it just – it compounds itself because it expands and it gets wider and so on. So then I would do that now before next winter so that you prevent that from happening to you. OK?
PAULETTE: Because I can see dirt in there, underneath there, way down.
TOM: Yeah, clean it out. Clean it out and then do the patch.
PAULETTE: Mm-hmm. Alright.