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  • Concrete Floor/Drywall/Sidewalk Crack Repair
  • Asphalt (Blacktop)
  • Caulking - What Type To Use
  • Repair vinyl floors

  • CONCRETE FLOOR/DRYWALL/SIDEWALK CRACK REPAIR

    Concrete repair is important to do before the rainy season starts. Why? Because water seeps in and over time will cause the concrete cracks to get larger. Before you know it, it will be a very big problem. Next thing you know, you will have to re-pour your entire driveway or sidewalk and this is extremely costly.

    PREPARATION

    1. Clean the crack by removing all loose dirt, bits or chunks of concrete with an awl and hammer. Chisel and chip loose concrete away (don’t forget your safety glasses for eye protection).
    2. Use a stiff brush to clean all dirt and small pieces of concrete before starting the patching process (you can also use a shop vacuum to clean up).
    3. Then spray the crack with a garden hose using a spray attachment to remove any remaining debris. It is important to clean the crack well so that the patching material will adhere to it.
    4. If there is oil in the crack, use a grease-cutting cleanser to scrub it out then rinse well. If you don’t remove oil, the concrete filler may not set up properly. Allow all surfaces to dry before continuing with the patching process.

    PROCESS

    Cracks that are less than ¼" are generally filled with sealants that come in a caulk gun tube. If you are using filler from a caulk container or tube, squeeze the filler into the crack until it begins to overflow. Then smooth it out using a metal trowel or plastic scraper. Allow the filler to cure overnight. It may be necessary to repeat this process to ensure that you are filling the crack completely. When patch is dry brush, it down to matches the adjacent surface.

    Cracks that are between ¼" and ½" are generally filled with premixed mortar or sealants that comes in a can or plastic jug. Shake or stir the product well before using. According to directions on the product, squeeze the filler into the crack until it begins to overflow. Then smooth it out using a metal trowel or plastic scraper. It may be necessary to repeat this process to ensure that you are filling the crack completely.

    Cracks that are larger than 1/2" must be filled with premixed concrete which comes is bags weighing 60 lbs or 90 lbs. Mix your material as the manufacturer recommends, and pour this material into the crack. Use a trowel to work the concrete mixture into the crack. Smooth the concrete patch excess out. Remember: even if it doesn’t look picture perfect, repairing cracks before they get out of hand and costly is the way to go (several thousand to re-pour a driveway).

    CURING THE REPAIR


    Allow the repaired areas to dry completely - this may take several days. Why? A slow cure will result in stronger concrete. Make sure to keep it moist by lightly misting the area with a garden hose and keeping it covered with a plastic sheet. When the concrete has cured, apply a water seal with either a roller or a sprayer.

    ASPHALT (Blacktop)

    On asphalt driveways, use asphalt patching material. Cracks in asphalt less than 1/2" can be filled with products made especially for the purpose. Fillers may come in cans or caulk-type dispensers. Use the appropriate product for the appropriate for cracks of different sizes. You may need one filler for cracks up to 1/4" and another for cracks up to 1/2". Always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of the sealer you choose. Cracks in asphalt that are 1/2" and wider should be filled with asphalt cold-patch. This material is available in bags and cans. Pour it in the patch and use a trowel or plastic scraper to pack it in.

    Asphalt Tips

    1. Seal every two or three years. Coating too often results in a slick surface.
    2. Seal when the temperature is over 50 degrees Fahrenheit and consistent
    3. Allow 24 hours before using your newly-coated driveway even though it may feel dry
    4. Always follow the manufacturer's directions on the product container.
    5. Do not seal when rain is expected within 36 hours.
    6. Do not seal brand new asphalt. The driveway must cure for 6 months in warm temperatures before sealing.
    7. Do not apply driveway sealer to concrete.
    8. Do not apply a thick coating. It will dry too slowly and can lead to "mud-cracking," a condition that looks like sun-cracked mud on the surface of the driveway.

    CAULKING – WHAT TYPE TO USE

    Bottom Line

    Use GE Silicone II if it's in the tub or shower, or if it doesn't need to be painted. 

    Use DAP DYNAFLEX 230 if it has to be painted.

    Silicone performs best overall. It lasts longest and holds up best, but harder to apply (a little messy) and isn't paintable.  Silicone "Tub and Tile" caulk has a mildewcide -- use in areas that get wet, but don't use it in area where it will contact food or drinking water.  There are other versions without the mildewcide for these applications.

    Elastomeric latex sealant (caulk) comes next in durability and is paintable.

    Latex, silicone/latex (siliconized) and acrylic is next,  but there's a lot of variation in quality within and between brands.

    Latex is easiest to apply and cleanup

    Silicone is essential to seal around bathtubs, showers, lavatories, etc. There's a special bathroom formulation for this that has a mildewcide. This poison has been known to be hazardous if used inside dishwashers because the high heat outgasses the poison onto the dishes and is then eaten.

    Tips for Storing Caulk

    Tip 1:  Cold caulk can get stiff and hard to squeeze out of the tube.  If it's cold, put the tube it in a pan of warm water for 20 minutes or so.

    Tip 2:  Ways to reseal partially used caulk tubes.

    Use a large wirenut (used to connect electric wiring) to cap the tip if you will be using it again within a month.  Gray wirenuts are about the right size.  For longer term storage use a piece of plastic (Saran Wrap or plastic bag type) over the tip, held in place with masking tape or a rubber band.  Squirt a little caulk into this sock covering the tip -- it will harden first, helping seal the caulk in the tube. 

    Be careful in using nails to seal caulk.  If you do, use a rust proof screw, otherwise, you will have to pump out a lot of caulk to get rid of the rust.

    Repair vinyl floors

    If you have a worn vinyl floor, try these fixes before resorting to replacement.

    • Floor curls at seams: First, cover the seam with a few layers of paper towels and press with an iron on a medium setting, taking care not to let the iron directly contact the floor. Weight the spot after removing the heat, and see if that renews the adhesive bond. If that doesn't work, get some flooring adhesive, a weight and a heat lamp or hair dryer. Warm the curled part of the flooring until it flexes without breaking. Glue it into place, and place the weight over the spot to hold the curled edge down until the glue can dry.
    • Gouges in floor: Use the above method if the vinyl has been torn and a flap remains that you can glue down. If a chunk of vinyl is actually missing, and you have extra, cut the gouge out and patch.