This time of year I start to notice all the flaws in my driveway, steps, and walkways.
While doing a routine fall preventive maintenance check at one of our rental houses I noticed a sizable gap on the walkway between a concrete step and landing area.
The gap was about 1/2 inch wide and seemed to be getting bigger over time. Although this could just be my bad eyesight (anyone else feel my pain here!).
I’d like to avoid the possibility of the crack getting larger and creating additional fractures.
My goals for this quick project were to fill the large crack,make it watertight, and allow it to expand/contract with the natural freeze & thaw cycles.
These are the supplies you’ll need
- Foam Tubing (aka Polyfoam Caulk Saver)
- Concrete Crack Filler
- These Amazon links help support HRT, many thanks for using them
The total cost of this project if you have to buy everything is $23.15.
I’m going out on a limb and assuming most of you own a broom and concrete crack filler (LOL, just kidding). If you own a broom and scissors the total cost is $11.20.
If your crack is less than 1/4 inch then you don’t even need the foam tubing.
Filling and repairing cracks in concrete is super important to prevent further damage. This is an easy fix and I walk you through it via a video as well as a step-by-step guide.
So let’s get started because today you’re going to discover a new cost-saving home repair fix
Clean the Crack-Step 1
Use a broom or brush to clean the crack. By the way, the brush I’m using in this video was my grandpa’s. Before he passed away he had the presence of mind to give away all of his material possessions except for few tools.
I kept his brush and a few mason trowels as a reminder that you can build anything if you’re willing to learn and be persistent.
If your concrete crack has grease on it visit your local hardware or auto parts store and ask them for a product that will help remove the residue.
The crack I was working with was the result of the step and landing area pulling away from each other. It was a control joint that was purposely put in place to prevent cracks from occurring.
This control joint, unfortunately, became “out of control” and widened too much over the last 60 years. If water continues to get into the huge crack it will continue to separate the step and landing area from each other.
And the type of repair that this process will lead to can be very expensive to fix.
Insert Foam Tubing (aka Polyfoam Caulk Saver) into Large Cracks-Step 2
The crack I had to repair was about 1/2 inch wide.
Although Sakrete crack filler can be used for cracks up to this size it’s best to fill in large gaps with the foam tubing.
The foam tubing should be slightly wider than the crack to create a tight fit. I used a 5/8 inch wide variety.
Place the tubing in the crack and push it down. There should be a 1/4 inch space between the top of the foam tubing and the top of the concrete crack.
This 1/4 inch space is where the concrete crack filler will be poured.
Click on this link for more details on the polyfoam caulk saver.
It’s made by Frost King who also has a ton of other great weatherizing products.
Check out their website (www.frostking.com) because you’ll get a lot of great ideas of how to keep the cold weather from increasing your heating bill.
Apply Concrete Crack Filler-Step 3
This is the fun part. Do you remember doing those crazy art projects in grade school?
This is the adult version AND it saves you money in the long run.
Shake the concrete crack sealer vigorously for about 15 to 30 seconds.
Cut the applicator tip with your scissors (or a utility knife or a steak knife-unless you’re vegetarian).
Squeeze the bottle and allow the crack filler to seal the crack where the foam tubing resides.
Allow the filler to setup for 24 hours before walking or driving on it. I checked my crack filler (this phrase would have gotten me a demerit in Catholic school and certainly I’d have detention by the end of this tutorial) after 30 minutes and it wasn’t tacky.
Click on this link for more information on the Sakrete crack filler I used.
If your crack is super deep (DEMERIT!) you can add a second application. A 24 hour wait time is needed between each successive application.
I didn’t trowel or smooth out the Sakrete concrete crack filler. You’ll find that it is self-leveling and will look fine after it settles.
Here’s a video of this repair project. You should watch it because it walks you through the entire process.
Our tutorial showing how to repair concrete expansion joints also comes in handy – and will save you a ton of money.
If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.