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Fixing cracks in concrete
Old 06-14-2021, 11:16 AM   #1
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Fixing cracks in concrete

After seeing such great advice on fixing hairline cracks in drywall, it occurred to me to try asking here.

We have a 20 year old concrete patio with 4x4 squares of concrete and several of the squares have developed cracks. Some are small hairline cracks I’d like to prevent getting bigger and others are 1/8-1/4” wide and have small pieces that are eventually going to start crumbling off if not fixed.

I’ve tried to find several people to help, but no one will show up to give an estimate. The only ones who have want to rip out the entire patio and replace the concrete, which seems excessive. In the interest of getting it done, I think I’m going to have to do it myself.

Any thoughts on the best way to repair this and not have it stand out too bad? It was originally stained a very light tan, but has faded over the years…

I’ve tried to attach a photo of one of the worse cracks.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:21 AM   #2
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4 feet by 4 feet or 4 inches by 4 inches?

Pavers or poured concrete?

If it's 4 feet by 4 feet and poured concrete, then I think they are right that removing/replacing is the right move. My guess (not knowing much but knowing a little) is that the ground below the concrete was not prepared properly and you got some frost heaves or other ground movement and the concrete couldn't handle the stress. Removing/replacing is necessary to fix whatever error was made underneath the concrete.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:25 AM   #3
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The best you can do is use a flexible crack sealer. A self leveling type, that is usually light grey color. Clean out the crack best as you can, then fill it up when a nice dry day and let it cure. If too deep you can use a foam backer that is like a foam rope 1/4-1/2 inch diam and squeeze it down in before the sealer.


Any trying to put a hard setting mix will just crack again. All concrete cracks, and that is why they have the usual cut or troweled lines when new, it is to control where the cracks are.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:57 AM   #4
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The squares are 4 feet x 4 feet. I think this is just natural ground movement with maybe some overwatering of nearby planter beds. We don’t really get frost here, though we do have small quakes.

At some point, we’ll need to replace, but we’re trying to get by for a few more years at least!

38chevy, thanks for your thoughts. I assumed we would want something flexible but didn’t even know where to start!!
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:47 PM   #5
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Sikaflex self-leveling sealant is a good product for this. Available at Home Depot, Amazon, etc.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:54 PM   #6
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38Chevy454 covered it. Anything you do aside from a full replace will be somewhat obvious. Since I am not picky I've done the caulking recommended with long lasting results.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:05 PM   #7
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If you were looking to formalize and beautify, you could lay pavers over the concrete with relative ease and no demolition. You might even be able to glue them down. Otherwise, you usually need some kind of border to hold them in place.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:14 PM   #8
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In my experience filling in cracks in concrete is usually at best a temporary fix, the cracks will likely show up again, and the crack filler usually doesn't blend in very well with the existing concrete. If they are in 4x4 sections it shouldn't be that difficult to break out and pour new sections then re-stain the concrete to match.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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.Anything you do aside from a full replace will be somewhat obvious. Since I am not picky I've done the caulking recommended with long lasting results.
I agree, any crack only repair is still going to be noticable and not really be a thing of beauty. But it will help seal out moisture going into the crack which could lead to further failure and damage.

So, for longer lasting more beautifule results, some of the other suggestions given might be considered.

I kind of like the suggestion above to just lay some pavers on top. In fact my SIL had a concrete patio at her place and had a contracotr do a "new" patio for her of pavers over the concrete. Result was beautiful. Only care you need to figure is if that height difference might be a problem.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:55 PM   #10
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I would try this stuff FlexBond 25 lb. Gray Crack Prevention Mortar.
I have used it for laying tile but it looks like cement and is flexable.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:27 PM   #11
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I too have a crack 4' from the end of my driveway where a concrete mixer crunched it.

I must be the only guy around with my own jack hammer and an electric concrete mixer. I'll deal with it when the weather cools down to the 50's. Small concrete jobs are no big deal.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:02 PM   #12
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Sikaflex self-leveling sealant is a good product for this. Available at Home Depot, Amazon, etc.

This product is very good, apply some back rod behind it. It remains very flexible during winter months.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:50 PM   #13
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I looked up the sikaflex and it looks like the sandstone version of this is what they used when it was fixed previously. The color isn’t a great match but I bet if I mixed the sandstone and gray and used a syringe to apply, I would get a pretty decent match. Will give it a try in a spot you can’t see.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:44 PM   #14
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I used clear silicon caulking on my driveway to fill in a crack, and sprinkled sand that was a close color to it.
I had seen my neighbor use some concrete patching stuff, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
My solution is pretty invisible. I actually put the sand on it as I was afraid it would be a shiny line.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:11 AM   #15
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If you were looking to formalize and beautify, you could lay pavers over the concrete with relative ease and no demolition. You might even be able to glue them down. Otherwise, you usually need some kind of border to hold them in place.
Another way to formalize and beautify is by using an isolation membrane and tile over that. Sometimes you can get some pretty cheap tile that maybe people didn't want inside their house, but to do a patio, it would be fine. I googled it and this was the first link...can't vouch for this stuff, exactly, but it's the idea...won't just transmit the crack to the surface.

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Old 06-15-2021, 06:48 AM   #16
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Ah, I forgot to add, we love the idea of tile, but it’s a large space and attached to the pool, so that’s on the list but would have to be part of a much larger project!
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