LESLIE: Heather in Maryland’s got a concrete situation that’s all cracked up. Tell us about the problem.
HEATHER: I had a concrete patio, like 30x30, poured not this past summer but the summer before. And even before the winter this year I noticed a crack that goes all the way across it and then a couple of smaller ones. And they haven’t separated yet but I am concerned, because there’s no rebar in it, that I’m going to end up with a split and like an unlevel-ness to it. What’s the solution to that? What can I do without making it look, you know, not finished anymore?
TOM: Heather, repairing concrete patios is a difficult task because you have to use the right type of material and generally those are epoxies.
TOM: And there’s a good line of products out from a company called Abatron. They’re website is Abatron.com. And they’re for residential and commercial concrete repair purposes. And what you’re going to want to do is probably use one of the patching compounds on all of those cracks.
Now, in terms of the movement – as you mentioned, there’s no rebar in there – frankly, there’s not a whole lot you can do at this point. I would seal up the cracks and monitor it. If it gets so bad that it’s moving a lot, one of the options that you could think about doing would be putting concrete pavers on top of that. The paver bricks come in a wide variety of styles. They’re not very expensive and the old concrete patio could make a good base for those.
HEATHER: If, after filling it with the product that you mentioned …
HEATHER: … is it an option to stain it or would that be something that would be very obvious with the filler in there?
TOM: I’m not so sure staining would be a good idea but you could use one of the epoxy paints.
HEATHER: Oh, OK.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, because the stain, you know, depending on the translucency, is going to adhere differently to that patched area. So then it could become more obvious.
TOM: Yeah, but if you paint it with one of the epoxy paints, these are two–part epoxies. They’re chemical cures and they work inside and outside. QUIKRETE makes one. Rust-Oleum makes one. Go find one that you like the colors and the texture of it and go with that. Because that can also be painted right over the crack repair and it’ll all look nice.
HEATHER: Oh, great.
LESLIE: Well, you can even – instead of even using one of those epoxy kits, you can get basic, you know, concrete paint and tape out perhaps a terracotta tile pattern with maybe a little cobalt tile pattern in the center. Go ahead and paint a base color right over your taped lines and then once that dries and seals in the paint you can pick that terracotta color and paint in that area. You can do something really creative.
HEATHER: Great, thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Heather. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.