How to Fix a Cracked Patio
LESLIE: Now we’re going to a call in South Carolina where Charles has a tremendously cracked patio? That has to be pretty bad.
What’s going on, Charles?
CHARLES: OK. House is about 35 years old. The patio is roughly 15×18 feet. Cracks started appearing a couple of years ago. Cleaned them out as best I could; filled them with caulk supposedly for the purpose. It lasted one freeze-thaw cycle through the winter and cracks are back and they’re growing.
Now, I saw an ad – I believe it was from QUIKRETE – where you can get a slurry to put on top of something like this. Are you familiar with it?
TOM: Well, there are epoxy compounds, epoxy patching compounds, that work very well with cracked patios. But more importantly, you need to clean out that crack of the old caulk. And I don’t know what kind of caulk you used.
CHARLES: It was masonry caulk.
TOM: Well, I found the best caulk to use in a situation like that is a flowable urethane caulk.
TOM: It really self-levels and has great adhesive qualities and it’s very flexible in cold and hot weather. If you don’t use the right product, what happens is it doesn’t stick and it tends to crack and pull apart.
CHARLES: (overlapping voices) OK.
TOM: That’s the first thing. In terms of getting something to adhere to the surface, I’ve had the best success with epoxy compounds on that and that might be what that product is you’re referring to; although I’m not specifically familiar with it.
CHARLES: OK, so I pressure wash it first if I use that, I would imagine, and then go to put the compound on.
TOM: Yes. But if you’re going to pressure wash it, I would recommend you wait a day or so with some good, hot weather to allow all the water to evaporate out.
LESLIE: Yeah but Tom, is it a good idea to use the pressure washer? Would you only loosen up some other things that might not be ready to come out?
TOM: If you use it and not use it too aggressively. If you use a good cleaning solution, you put the cleaning solution on. If they have a soap dispenser attachment to the pressure washer, then you put it on, let it sit for a while. It usually has some mildicide component to it. It’s good to get all the dirt off it; otherwise, it’s not going to stick. But Leslie, you’re right. If you go too aggressive, you’ll start to really erode that surface and there’s nothing you’re going to put on that’s going to cover that.
So remember, Charles, in this case you’re really just cleaning it. You don’t want to get too aggressive because if it is an older patio and you use too much pressure, you can easily start to erode that soft concrete surface and start to expose some of the aggregate and that’s not going to be very pretty.
CHARLES: OK, I’ll look into that stuff then. I thank you for your time.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Charles. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.