Of all your home's exterior features, the concrete surfaces that make up the patio, porch steps, walkway, driveway, and parking pad help create value structure along with adding safety to your property. A concrete patio and steps that are cracking can be a safety hazard in addition to bringing down your home's value. Here are some tips you can use to improve your property and its use with your property's concrete.
Install a Concrete Slab
If your property does not have a patio or parking slab, you can build useful value to your yard by adding one. You can prepare the site by smoothing the soil and adding a layer of compacted gravel, then install wood forms around the edges of where you want the concrete to be.
It is important that the foundation of your patio is reinforced with compressed concrete that provides sturdy support and drainage for moisture that seeps into the soil. If the foundation contains soils that absorb water and expand or contract, this can cause damage to your concrete.
Hiring a concrete professional is a good way to have your concrete patio installed properly and with the right preparation. They can ensure the concrete is mixed to the proper moisture content to provide adequate curing and prevent damage. Your concrete professional will also make sure any necessary additives are mixed into the concrete mixture, which can help the concrete cure in cold weather if you are installing it late or early in the season when frost is a concern.
Repair Existing Concrete Damage
A concrete slab on your property, such as a patio, driveway, or sidewalk, that has damage to its surface can be repaired when you use the right techniques. Concrete cracking and flaking are signs the concrete was not properly installed or allowed to cure, but they can be repaired to restore the concrete's surface and prevent having to replace the entire surface. Measure the amount of flaking to the concrete, and as long as it does not penetrate further than one-third of the concrete's thickness, you can repair it.
Use a power washer or a broom to clean off debris and concrete pieces from the surface of your concrete. Mix up Portland cement, sand, and water to make a thick consistency you can paint on the area of repair. This prepares the concrete to adhere properly to the new overlay. Mix up a thicker consistency of Portland cement, sand, and water to the consistency of oatmeal and spread it onto the area of spalling.
For more information or help, work with a local concrete contractor.