Does your concrete patio, walkway or flooring have some minor damage such as cracks or tiny chunks missing? You can likely perform the concrete repair even if you have limited do-it-yourself experience using a project called vinyl concrete patcher. The patcher is formulated to apply in lightweight coats that make it easy to cover a small area with just enough concrete to hide the flaws.
While the exact usage instructions can vary between vinyl patcher producers, here are a set of general instructions that can help you gauge the amount of work and time you think the project will require.
Things You Need:
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Broom and vacuum
- Concrete cleaner
- Vinyl patcher product
- Stir stick
- Steel trowel
Step 1: Prepare the Concrete
The concrete surface needs to be scuffed up so that the patcher can adhere better. Use a fine grit sandpaper to lightly scuff the concrete in the area of the damage. Note that you don't want to sand off actual layers; you only want to create some surface texture. You can skip this step if the concrete is already heavily textured due to design.
Use a broom and vacuum to remove any sanding dust or debris from the damage area. Clean the area thoroughly using a commercial concrete cleaner. Make sure you follow the manufacturer directions and allow the cleaner the appropriate amount of dry time.
Step 2: Prepare and Apply Patcher
Read your patcher label to determine the quantity of ingredients you want to add to your bucket. The patcher only needs water to work and you can easily stir the two together using a stir stick. You want to work fast once the mix is made so it doesn't solidify, but you should have plenty of time if you work at a steady pace.
Use a steel trowel to scoop up a small amount of the patcher mix and apply the mix over the damage area. Smooth out the mix to evenly cover the area. If there's a missing chunk, you can use the angled corner of the trowel to directly deposit some patcher into the hole. Then you can smooth over the top with additional layers of patcher.
Step 3: Clean Up and Curing
Wash your trowel and bucket out immediately once the job is done so you don't have to deal with hardened concrete on your supplies. Now you need to let the patcher mix cure or set over the damaged area. This ensures keeping the area moist, which can be done with plastic film on inside jobs or ground blankets on outside jobs.
Consult the manufacturer's directions on how long the concrete repair should cure before you can walk on or otherwise use the repaired area.