How to Repair Flaking Concrete
The change of seasons wreaks havoc on a concrete surface, and can turn your beautiful driveway, walking path or wall into a visual nightmare. If it's been through a few freeze-and-thaw cycles, you may notice that the concrete appears to be flaking in areas.
This is known as scaling, and it's caused by water expanding in the pores of the concrete during freezing weather and breaking apart the top layer of concrete. If you are willing to put in a few hours of work, you can save a good amount of money by repairing the concrete yourself.
Prepare the surface by peeling up as much of the loose concrete flakes as you can. Use a long handle spade, which is easier on your back. A flat head screwdriver will work too. Once you have all the loose concrete pulled up, pressure wash the area. Pressure washing the surface will force up any loose flakes that remain. Do not skip the pressure washing step -- it is essential to the life of the repair that you have a clean, flake-free surface. Allow the concrete to dry.
Mix the Patchcrete, following the directions on the back of the bag. Fill the voids in the concrete and trowel it smooth, just until the height matches the rest of the surface. Then with light pressure, run it over it with a wet sponge to feather the Patchcrete into the old concrete. Allow to completely overnight.
Notice the areas you patched stand out like a sore thumb. The only way to fix this is to cover the entire surface with an overlay, or slurry, so the whole thing looks uniform. Mix the Ardex overlay as directed on the back of the bag, being careful not to add too much water. Pour the mixture onto the surface, working on one section at a time, and roll it out in a uniform fashion for a smooth look.
Things You Will Need
- Long handle spade
- Pressure washer
- Patchcrete concrete repair material
- Ardex patching and smoothing compound
When purchasing Ardex, bring the measurements of the area with you and ask the home improvement or hardware store employee to help you determine how much product you will need. Ask, also, for help choosing the proper roller to use with Ardex.
Do not perform this repair if it has been raining or rain is expected.