Practical concrete and asphalt maintenance tips

Leave concrete and asphalt installation for the experts, but maintain and repair concrete and asphalt yourself. Here are a few practical tips.

Practical concrete and asphalt maintenance tips

New life for old slabs

  • Excavating an old concrete slab and installing a new one is expensive.
  • A cheaper option is to cover the existing surface with a decorative layer of concrete.
  • Search "concrete resurfacing" to find a professional who can liven up your old slab.

Repairing steps

  • Use a cold chisel and club hammer to break away loose concrete and square up rough edges.
  • Set up some timber formwork to put your patch into.
  • Dampen the area, then brush on a bonding agent.
  • Fill with patching concrete and smooth.
  • Run a stiff broom over the surface of your patch to roughen it before it sets.

Fix the flake

  • For areas of flaking concrete, first break up the surface with some light swings from a club hammer.
  • The weakened areas will sound hollow when tapped.
  • Scrub the exposed surface with a wire brush and rinse with water.
  • Once it's dry, apply a bonding agent and patching concrete, and smooth with a steel or wooden trowel.

Seal the slab

  • A concrete slab with a slightly powdery surface can be fixed with the application of a chemical sealer.
  • First, clean the concrete using a wire brush, scrubbing brush, pressure washer or vacuum cleaner, and possibly a degreaser.
  • Leave the concrete to dry.
  • Next, apply a coat of chemical sealer with a large brush.

Fill when necessary

  • Hairline cracks in concrete can be ignored.
  • These cracks usually follow the lines of the contraction joints between sections.
  • For bigger cracks use a concrete sealant or filler.

Hold back the rust

  • Metal railings and fasteners expand as they rust, causing the concrete surrounding them to chip or flake off.
  • To reduce the problem, periodically seal the joint with a cement-based sealant where metal meets concrete.

Breaking-up made easy

  • Locate gas and water pipes before you start breaking up an old concrete slab.
  • Rent a concrete breaker to make the job easier – one with vibration damping will be less tiring to use and you won't get "vibration white finger."
  • Wear ear and eye protection, work gloves and steel-toed footwear.

Keep these practical tips in mind to help you better repair concrete and asphalt.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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