LESLIE: WJFK Free FM is where Heather listens in the D.C. area. What can we do for you?
HEATHER: I have a concrete slab patio that was poured about four years ago, so it’s already cured. And it’s settled. They did not seam it and so I have one large crack that’s running across the entranceway. And I wanted to know if there was a way that I could fill it or cover it with concrete or what the best solution would be that I wouldn’t have to tear it up.
TOM: Well, do you care that it’s ugly; that you have this crack? Because you talked about filling it. You know, you could put a flowable urethane sealant in there but you’re still going to see it.
HEATHER: Yeah. And see, then I just think it’s going to look gross. Is there a way that I can – I can fill it and then put concrete over it and (chuckling) brush it again?
TOM: No. Well – you know, you could fill it with an epoxy patching compound, but then you’re going to have to use a matching epoxy paint and do the entire surface. How big is this patio?
HEATHER: It’s a pretty good size. It’s probably about – it’s in the shape of a baseball diamond and it’s probably about 20 feet long and about, mm, 12 feet wide.
TOM: OK. You know, the other thing that you could think about doing if you want to make a really cool looking improvement is to put paver bricks on top of it. It would make a great base for paver bricks. And paver bricks are very easy to install. It’s like putting together a puzzle, you know, because they’re exactly – one brick long is two bricks wide. You simply assemble them in whatever pattern you want and you could have a very, very attractive looking patio – paver patio – right on top of the old nasty-looking concrete.
HEATHER: What do you know about painting concrete?
TOM: Can do it.
LESLIE: Well, there’s a lot of different methods. If you wanted to paint it, make sure you get a concrete floor paint that’s durable for outside; something that’s really going to stand up. You have to make sure that that concrete is clean. Then you can go ahead and just paint it one color, paint a rug on it, paint it a series of different colors; whatever you like.
Or there’s something called acid staining for concrete. And it’s generally not a do-it-yourself project; although some people do look into the science of it and figure out what chemicals cause what colors because that’s how that works. And that can be very interesting because it gives it a very rich and very textural color; or colors, depending on what you like. And it can also be acid stained to look like a checkerboard pattern or to look like a different type of tile.
So there’s a lot of things – generally, you know, do an online search in your area and find a pro who does that and then look at their book and see what type of work it is that they’ll do. A lot of times, they’ll customize a look specifically for your job, but by looking at their reference book, you’ll get an idea of the type of work that they do. And it’s gorgeous.
TOM: I mean painting – you can knock the painting out in a weekend. And really, you know, if you’ve seen any of Leslie’s projects that she does on TV, this idea of painting a design onto the concrete is not that difficult to do.
HEATHER: Great. Thanks so much, guys. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Heather. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.