How To Fix Cracks In Concrete Patio

From early morning coffee dates to evening cookouts with friends, your patio is home to many memorable adventures. When you first poured it, you might have noticed how smooth and seamless it appeared. Now, it’s been a few years and the space has started to show its age.

Have you noticed that a few hairline cracks have started to appear in yours? Or, maybe the chasms are deeper and much more visible. Either way, it’s important to take care of the issue before it snowballs into a bigger problem.

Today, we’re sharing how to fix cracks in concrete patio floors so you can restore yours to its original beauty in no time!

Check The Extent Of The Damage

Before you take another step forward, start by thoroughly assessing the state of your concrete patio. If the damage is particularly severe, you may need to hire a professional contractor to correct it.

For the most part, minor concrete patio repairs are manageable at home with the right tools and knowledge. They should not be subject to any type of local building codes or municipal guidelines. However, this isn’t always the case.

Some large-scale repairs may require the use of a building permit. If you notice that the cracks are very deep or they’ve led to other types of structural damage, always err on the side of caution. A professional repair team will know the exact forms you need to have in place before you begin repairing or even demolishing the patio.

Gather Your Supplies

Cracks in concrete can be relatively easy to fill, but you’ll need the right supplies. Unfortunately, you can’t simply patch them with new concrete. This is because concrete contains a mixture of aggregate rock pieces, and most will be too large or oddly shaped to fit inside the crack.

Instead, for most cracks up to 1/2-inch deep and 1/4-inch wide, you’ll need to use a polymer-based filler. You can use a caulking gun to inject the filler into the crack. Then, you’ll smooth it with a putty knife to make the surface as even as possible.

The basic supplies you’ll need include:

  • Hammer
  • Heavy-duty chisel
  • Shop vacuum
  • Funnel
  • Wire brush
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Protective goggles and hearing protection
  • Sand
  • Concrete crack filler
  • Solid crack filler
  • Cardboard

Create A Wider Gap

It might sound counterintuitive to widen the gap in your concrete, but this first step is important. Wear your protective gear and place the tip of the chisel into the crack, keeping it at a 45-degree angle.

Then, use the hammer to lightly tap the back of the chisel, containing along the edge of the crack until the tip of the chisel is at least 1/4 inch into the gap. As you tap, remember to follow the crack itself. Aim to maintain a 2:1 width-to-depth ratio at all times to maintain proportions.

Brush Out The Space

After you’re done chiseling the gap out, you’ll likely find lots of small-scale debris inside the crack. This is where your wire brush will come in handy.

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Use the brush to carefully clean out any particles that have fallen inside the space. This will also help to loosen and dislodge any other small pieces that would have fallen in later. You can also use the shop vacuum to make this task a little easier!

Fill In Deep Areas With Solid Filler

If the crack in the concrete is deeper than 1/4-inch, you will need to use solid filler to get it back up to that point. While you might be tempted to use liquid filler here, we don’t recommend that step quite yet.

At such depths, the liquid filler will take longer to cure and could lead to issues with sinking. It can also cost more to apply liquid filler all the way from the very bottom of the crack to the very top.

Instead, fill in deep cracks with solid filler, such as sand. You can use the funnel to transport sand neatly into the space. Not only is this one of the most economical routes to take, but it also allows you to precisely measure how much sand enters the gap.

Add Liquid Filler On Top

When you’ve filled the space to about 1/4-inch full, you can use the liquid concrete filler on top. To do so, start by cutting the tip of the applicator. Then, apply a little to your cardboard to make sure all of the ingredients have mixed together and are applied correctly.

Slowly add one bead of filler to the crack. Steadily, drag it along the full length of the gap, making sure to completely cover every visible space within it.

Smooth It Out

Once you’ve applied all of your filler, you might notice that one side or section looks higher than the other. If this is the case, you can use your putty knife to smooth out the surface. Simply move the knife in the direction of the crack until it looks uniform in appearance.

At this point, you may also notice that some spots look lower than others. If so, add a little more filler and smooth with the knife as necessary.

Allow To Cure And Resurface

Once you’ve filled in the crack, allow the concrete to cure for at least 24 hours. Once that time has passed, you can leave it as-is or add a new layer of concrete coating to remove any evidence of the crack. A solution like the Full Chip System from Garage Force flooring can transform the surface of your concrete and remove any evidence of prior damage.

Now You Know How To Fix Cracks In Concrete Patio

You deserve a patio that looks great and functions properly. If yours has started to look worse for the wear, the good news is that repairs are manageable.

Now that you know how to fix cracks in concrete patio floors, you can repair minor cracks and inconsistencies. For bigger projects, it’s best to hire a professional, especially if your project will require special building permits.

Looking for more expert advice to help you beautify your space? Be sure to check out our other Home guides!

Featured image by Jean-Pierre Pellissier from Pixabay.