Tips for Using Epoxy to Patch Concrete Cracks
Concrete is a material used in a lot of building applications. Everything from foundations to driveways to patios, and even swimming pools can be made out of concrete material. Concrete is generally easy to mix and is quite versatile for any do-it-yourself homeowner to work with. Concrete can also be mixed with different pigments for a range of colors for customizing the look of a driveway or patio floor.
1. Some Concrete Problems
While working with concrete is very easy to do, there are some problems involved in building with this material. Concrete is a very strong material when it cures, but it is prone to cracking. There is not a lot of give in cement. This means that whenever there is a frost heave, or a sudden shift, the concrete will crack. Another problem is moisture that gets into the pores of the cement. Once it freezes, the water will expand and cause cracks to develop.
There are also natural cracks in concrete. This is something that concrete is actually designed to do. As it cures, it will expand slightly. Small cracks will develop, but do not weaken the integrity of the concrete structure. Before you do any patching of the cracks, make sure they are not these natural cracks.
2. Epoxy Concrete Patch
The most popular way to patch up cracks formed in concrete is with some epoxy. This is a very quick drying type of sealant that not only fills in the crack, but also seals it from any moisture. This type of sealer must be mixed with a hardener before it can be used. Working with the epoxy does require some attention to detail and following some steps for an effective patch.
3. Make Sure Concrete is Clean
Epoxy will not adhere to crumbly sections of the concrete. This will interfere with the way the epoxy sets up inside the crack. Make sure you completely clean the concrete surface, and inside the crack, before applying any of the epoxy.
4. Use Epoxy Gun for Ease of Use
An epoxy gun will automatically mix the epoxy resin and the hardener to the correct amounts. Using this gun will eliminate the need to mix the two together and then applying it to the crack in the concrete. Make sure you cut the tips on the tubes at a slight angle, facing each other, so that the two will mix before it hits the concrete.
5. Mix What You Need
An important part of working with epoxy is to mix only the amount you are using. If you are not using the epoxy gun, then you will need to manually mix the resin and the hardener. Apply small amounts at a time to a clean surface and mix with a plastic scraper. Immediately set the epoxy into the crack and fill it completely.
6. Work in Small Sections
To make sure you do not have to contend with blending hard epoxy with soft material, make sure you work in a small area at a time. Try to mix enough to fill the crack at once, but try to limit the space to about 10 feet at a time.