LESLIE: Kathy in Rhode Island listens to The Money Pit on WPRO. And what’s going on at your house?
TOM: You had an additional layer of cement put on top of this patio, Kathy?
KATHY: Yes. They took off the other layer that was cracked and they replaced it with this new layer.
TOM: That’s kind of unusual because, typically, you can’t patch concrete. If you put new cement or a new mortar coat on top of that, it’s going to separate; especially in the climate of Rhode Island.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Rhode Island.
TOM: Typically, the way you’re going to want to preserve it is with an epoxy patching compound that’s designed to bond right to the concrete and create a very nice surface.
LESLIE: And is that something that you would pour as a full surface? No, that’s usually just for small areas, right?
TOM: They have a patching compound that you can trowel on and give a nice surface. But it has sort of a – more of a rubbery kind of material that sticks to the concrete. The problem with putting new concrete or new mortar on top of old is that it never bonds the two layers and so as moisture gets in there, it freezes and chips and cracks. So I’m afraid just putting a second layer on there – especially if it’s only an inch thick – that’s going to pop right off again, Kathy.
Now, who did this? Was this a masonry contractor that did this for you?
KATHY: No. No. Someone that supposedly worked with cement.
TOM: Well Kathy, I think there’s really not a lot you can do to preserve it. But if you put a second layer of concrete on top of this and it’s only an inch thick, I can almost guarantee you it’s not going to stick. So, you might want to find out if that’s actually what they put on. Maybe they didn’t use concrete or a mortar on top of this. Maybe they used a different material. I certainly hope that that’s the case.
Kathy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.