Leveling Concrete Stairs for the Outdoors

What You'll Need
Concrete trowel
Concrete cleaning agent
Wire brush
Wet and dry shop vacuum
Stray broom
Small concrete bull float
Concrete bonding adhesive
Cement mix
Bucket of water
Angle grinder with concrete grinding wheel

If you have outdoor stairs or steps made from concrete, leveling them will help to ensure that rain water does not accumulate in certain areas. During the winter, water that accumulates on concrete stairs may freeze and create a hazard to those that need to use the stairs. Steps or stairs that are not level allow water to puddle in some spots and can make the stairs slippery. However, leveling the steps is a DIY task that almost anyone can do, and this simple how-to guide will show you just what to do.

Step 1 - Clean the Stairs

Sweep and vacuum the stairs with the wet and dry shop vac. Then, use a quality de-greaser and some warm water to clean away any dirt, grime and other contaminants that will interfere with the concrete bond adhesive you will use to before applying new cement.

Step 2 - Prepare Concrete for Patching

After the stairs have dried, follow the directions on the package of concrete bond adhesive for preparing the surface. Some type require cleaning only, while others may instruct you use sandpaper or another abrasive to prepare the surface for the bond adhesive.

Step 3 - Apply Concrete Bonding Adhesive

Follow the directions on the bond adhesive for applying it to your concrete stairs or steps. Usually, you will need to apply the adhesive with a paint brush or roller. You may need to apply more than one coat of the adhesive for the best results. Allow the adhesive to dry or set according to the directions.

Step 4 - Mix Cement

Refer to instructions on the concrete mix and mix accordingly. You will need to add water and use a large bucket or wheelbarrow. Don't mix too much at one time. It is easier to mix smaller batches of cement, rather than trying to use cement that is too dry or is already starting to set.

Step 5 - Apply Cement to Stairs

Use the concrete trowel to spread on the cement on the treads of the stairs or steps. Don't make the cement too thick. Rather use just enough cement to fill in gaps or uneven spaces. Use a level or straight edge to find the areas where there are dips and gaps. Make the surface of the stairs as flat and level as possible. Apply a little cement and then check with the level or straight edge. Keep doing this for all of the uneven stair treads. This can be a slow process, but taking your time while doing the leveling will always mean better results.

Step 6 - Smooth out Concrete

Once the cement is applied, spritz the surface with water and use a small bull float or other smooth flat edge tool to smooth out the surface on the stair treads.