As concrete patios get older, they often begin to sink or crack. You may not need to replace the entire slab because there are a few different techniques available to help you level the surface again so that you have a patio to be proud of once more. You will be able to carry out some of the procedures yourself but may want to call in a professional company when specialized equipment is required.
Whether your whole concrete slab or only some sections have sunk, slab jacking is one option to repair the damage. It is recommended that you use a professional company to carry out this procedure as it needs specialist equipment and knowledge for the best results. A concrete mixture is pumped underneath the existing slab to raise it so that it is level.
An advantage of this procedure is that it will also fill in any gaps under the concrete where sinking has not yet occurred and prevents water from pooling or running through the foundations. This reduces the odds of a similar problem occurring again.
If only small sections of the concrete need to be repaired, then an alternative method is to remove a small area of the slab then pack sand underneath to level and support it before replacing the concrete. You will need to cut away the damaged area and remove it with a crowbar then pack the sand down firmly with a tamping machine before putting the concrete back in place. Otherwise, the sand will shift and the concrete will sink again. Fill in the gap around the cut section to prevent water ingress.
For any sections that are not completely leveled using sand, you can use mortar to form a new top layer on the concrete. Use a brick chisel and small sledgehammer to make the surface area more rough and textured. If you are veneering a section that has previously been cut out, use the chisel around the edges of the join as well for an improved finish. Next, drill small holes in the surface with a masonry bit.
Once the surface has been prepared, mix a thin mortar, pour it onto the surface and level it carefully. After leaving it to cure for 30 minutes, use a trowel or brush to finish the surface.
If the damage is spread over the whole concrete slab, it may be easier to veneer the whole surface. Remove any loose concrete and brush the area thoroughly before rinsing the patio with a hose. The surface needs to be as clean as possible for the best results.
Build a wooden frame around the edges of the concrete slab that protrudes 2 or 3 inches above the current level. Place a leveling layer of sand on the surface to cover any depressions and tamp it down so that it will settle once the concrete is poured. Fill the frame with new concrete and once it has been left to cure as directed by the manufacturer finish it using a brush or trowel.
Your concrete patio is now level and you saved on a contractor by doing it yourself. You are all set to host the next barbecue.