Project Guide – Repairing Broken Concrete Edges and Deep Damage
Get The Job Done Faster
Concrete boasts incredible compressive strength, making it ideal for flat surfaces that will last for decades. However, it is more vulnerable to point loads or shear forces, making corners and edges more susceptible to damage.
From stair treads to column corners to curbs, this damage can cause serious safety concerns – not to mention aesthetic issues.
For years, these types of structures were repaired using slow-setting materials poured into forms – less than ideal for getting them back into service quickly. Today’s advanced materials make this process easier than ever, allowing you to eliminate forms and get the job done in minutes, not hours.
Estimate your repair area to choose the correct package size. Because damaged concrete corners are often oddly-shaped, it’s recommended to use the largest vertical, horizontal and width dimensions of the repair so you don’t run short.
As an easy rule of thumb, consider a broken concrete step with the front edge broken off. For a common 2” vertical x 2” deep repair:
10# will be enough material to fix 3 linear feet
20# will be enough material to fix 6 linear feet
40# will be enough material to fix 12 linear feet
As an example:
The repair shown here has dimensions of approximately 2” x 2” x 6”, or .0138 ft3. One pound of Fast Setting Cement Patcher yields about 0.009 ft3, so this repair used approximately 1.5lbs of material.
Always over-estimate when mixing by eye!
Sweep the repair area to remove any dirt or debris that act as bond breakers. Consider using a pressure washer for large or heavily soiled areas.
Allow to dry for a few minutes until tacky – but be careful to not let the bonding agent completely dry. Usually the time it takes to mix the repair materials is sufficient drying time.
Project Tip: Always over-estimate when mixing by eye! It’s difficult if not impossible to mix another batch halfway through, especially when using fast-setting materials.
Repair materials have a wider range of acceptable consistencies than standard concrete and are often mixed by ratio rather than volume. The most common ratio for Fast Setting Cement Patcher is 4:1 – 4 parts mix to 1 part water.
Wearing respiratory protection and gloves, add pre-measured water to your mixing pail, followed by the dry mix. Start at a 4:1 ratio – 4 parts mix to 1 part water and adjust from there.
A 4:1 ratio is generally perfect for Fast Setting Cement Patcher – allowing for a loose enough mix to fill irregular voids while still setting quickly.
Mix for two minutes to achieve complete consolidation of the mix.
Adjust water slowly to reach desired consistency, but do not exceed 3:1.
Project Tip: Mixing by hand is sometimes most convenient for small patches. Be sure to wear gloves!
The biggest time savings for fast-setting materials comes at this stage. Where you would normally build a wooden form to hold the mix in place, products like Fast Setting Cement Patcher allow you to simply hold a flat trowel in place for 5 minutes to act as a form!
Place and hold one flat trowel flat against the vertical edge of the repair area. This is your “form” trowel.
Fill in repair area with repair mix using a margin trowel or gloved hand.
Rod the material with a margin trowel or dowel to eliminate air bubbles and ensure a good bond.