LESLIE: Charlotte in Arkansas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
CHARLOTTE: So I was calling about my patio concrete slab. It’s probably about 10×10 and it’s got a crack all the way across it. How can I fix that?
TOM: Is the crack wide or is it narrow? What’s it look like?
CHARLOTTE: Maybe an inch wide all the way across.
TOM: That’s pretty wide. You’re going to have to repair that with some material designed for those wide cracks. QUIKRETE – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E – has a number of products that are available to address that. Because it’s such a wide crack, what you’re going to want to do is press into that crack a foam rod called a “backer rod.” And it’s like a foam tube that is squishy and you push it into that crack. And so it sits about a ¼- or a ½-inch below the surface. And then when you apply the sealant, it kind of floats over that.
And this way, you won’t be filling up this deep hole with a lot of expensive caulk or other type of sealing compound. You’re only going to fill out the space that’s on top of that backer rod. And it’ll lay nice in there and it won’t move and it’ll basically keep the water from going in there. And that’s what you want to do because the more water gets in there, the worse the crack is going to get, especially in the winter when it freezes and expands.
CHARLOTTE: But it’s got grass and mud up in there right now, so I need to …
TOM: You’re going to want to clean that out. I would just get in there with a screwdriver and maybe a shop vac and try to clean out that area as best you can, press that backer rod in. And then when it’s nice and clean, you can put the sealant over that, OK?
CHARLOTTE: Alright. Thank you.