Patios are the place to be to entertain friends. And relatives outdoors. They can enjoy the scenery and breathe fresh air. All in all, it’s an excellent place to hang out with people you like.
On a side note, a good patio increases a house’s resale value. We’re talking more than 10% up in value here.
But wait, what if it’s a patio that has puddles? Yes, that means there are low spots, and they collect water on the concrete surface. Luckily, this guide will help you fix your concrete patio.
Concrete Patching Compound
With concrete, it’s a matter of when they would crack. And once they do, they are an eyesore and an inconvenience. What’s worse is that without action, the concrete would eventually have more cracks and holes. (Learn How Soon Can You Grout After Laying Tile)
The easiest solution to spalls and cracks is a concrete patching compound. They are so straightforward to apply that you don’t have to worry about hiring a professional. With common tools and the right directions, a regular homeowner could fix his concrete floor.
So what are the best patching compound for concrete patios? To answer that question, I think it’s best if we know what qualities we want.
Good Qualities of A Patching Compound
It should be able to do its job. That is, it leaves a smooth, even, and durable layer after application. Other than that, we must also consider its ease of use.
Vinyl, Acrylic, and Epoxies
All patching compounds are based on any one of the three. Every choice has its pros and cons, but it does not matter that much in this case.
Sure, every problem requires a unique solution, but the type doesn’t seem to matter that much. We’ll take a look at a product from each category.
Quikrete’s Vinyl Concrete Patcher, for example, is good for thin repairs horizontal restoration. Like driveways, patios, or a garage floor.
Sikacryl Ready-Mixed Concrete Patch is similar to the one above except that it is acrylic. It is strictly based on purpose, of course. It’s easy to use and is durable. Its product description does not mention thin repairs. So perhaps it is less workable but otherwise good for medium-length spalls and cracks. (Learn How Soon Can You Grout Tile)
Pro Chem’s EPOXY waterproofing and patching compound s a two-part product. It has multiple uses and is stronger than the original cement surface. It’s aimed at buildings based on the product description.
So based on these limited examples, what type we choose doesn’t matter. Except for thin horizontal applications, that is- vinyl is better.
Dry or Pre-mixed?
You have the option to buy pre-mixed and dry mix products. Pre-mixed are faster, and you need not concern yourself with getting the right consistency.
This is good if you don’t want to control the thickness of the products. Suppose you’re looking to have more flexibility, then a dry mix is better. You add water to the product, and you control its thickness.
The Specifics of The Repair
Are you patching a minor area or a large one? You are dealing with a horizontal surface, so some of the thicker patches in the vertical surfaces won’t be as good.
Most of the patches are suitable for indoors and outdoors. They are all tougher than concrete surfaces and are waterproof. But, there, as with any construction product, there are specific instructions.
But, we can generalize that patching is recommended for temperatures above 50 degrees only. And are not to be wet once the curing process begins.
How to Repair Low Spots With Concrete Patch
This step will guide you in your repairs.
Step 1: Inspect the spots and buy the Concrete Patch
Use a straight edge to get an idea of the size of the depression. Anything straight and long would work, but a straight edge is best. To get as much of an estimation, you could use water and a beaker.
Fill the low spots with water from the beaker and calculate how much you poured. Shape, depth, and size will be good factors in choosing patching material.
You could always ask the hardware store for their best product.
Step 2: Preparing and The Concrete Surface
The patch will not adhere to the surface if it is not prepared correctly. All things loose in the concrete must be removed. Nothing must be in between the patch and the concrete.
Dust, grime, dirt, even loose concrete and paint must be removed if there are any. Use a chisel and hammer to take pieces of the concrete surface.
After making sure no loose concrete is left, move on to cleaning. Use a brush dipped in dishwashing liquid to scrub impurities. Then sand the entire spot for maximum adhesion.
Wash with water the entire low spot, and let it dry. Use a blower or vacuum to remove any dust off after. You would then be left with a depression that’s all solid and smooth concrete.
Note: You can use other types of abrasives to rough up the low spot. Also, make sure that all the concrete is sturdy on the low spot. If it’s not, remove it. Substitutes for vacuum and blower include clean wire brush and broom.
Step 3: Apply The Concrete Patch
The sides of the low spot should be straight and deep enough for the patch to hold. Spray some water into the area as this will allow the patch to hold more.
Use a notched trowel or putty knife to apply the patch to the low spot. You want it even and filled. Put some patch, then spread it over the spot. Make sure that sides are filled with the patch.
Note: If you are using a dry mix, add water to the patch. There isn’t much water needed for these types of products. You want some workability, but you don’t it to be soupy.
Steps 4: Wait for the Patch to Cure
It would help if you waited for as long as recommended in the instructions for your chosen product. It must be free from any source of pressure or dirt during the curing stage. It could be as much as 20 hours, depending on the brand.
Note: You could technically apply these steps when you are working with a garage floor. The thing to look out for is that the load is heavier, and there might be grease.
But still, if it’s a concrete floor, then a concrete patch would do an excellent job of repairing low spots and cracks.
How to Repair Sinking Concrete Patio Pavers
Another popular style for patios is paving stones. They are also called concrete pavers. Water passes down into the soil in these types of patios, unlike a solid concrete floor.
Sometimes it can lead to a soil drainage problem. A soil drainage problem underneath a section of paving stones would lead to depression.
Put a straight object such as a level or straight edge so you could better understand the size of your low spot.
Step 1: Use Putty Knives
Remove the first brick using the putty knives. This is the hardest one to remove, but the other stones would be more accessible.
Step 2: Remove All Other Bricks
The removal area should be considerably more significant than the depression, making step 3 easier.
Step 3: Remove the Old Concrete Sand
The top layer underneath the stones should be scraped and push into the middle. Use a plastering trowel to get the sand in the middle. Then, with a shovel, remove the pile.
It would help if you were left a flat surface bereft of concrete sand/
Step 4: Adding Gravel
Add gravel to the area and use a hand tramp to compress it.
Step 5: Adding Concrete Sand
Use a plastering trowel to distribute the sand evenly. Make sure that the height at this point is correct. If you add the bricks, it would be the same level as all the others.
Step 6: Putting the Paving Stones Back
Carefully arrange and put back the bricks into their original position. The gravel and concrete sand should make your paving stones function correctly.