A Pathway to the Storage Building

3 Of The Biggest Mistakes DIY Homeowners Make During Concrete Step Repair

Concrete steps are a common fixture on homes because they provide a lasting and durable stepping surface. However, over time, concrete can weather and break just like anything else, and there may come a time when the steps that you have on your home may need some touching up. Before you grab a bag of ready-mix concrete and a trowel, there are some things that you should know. There are three big mistakes DIY homeowners tend to make when they are performing their own concrete step repairs. 

Mistake: Assuming that a simple bag of concrete mix is all you need. 

The concrete mix that you should be using for a step repair job is actually quite different than regular concrete mix. It contains emulsifiers and adhesives that make it possible for the new material to adhere to and bond with the old. Therefore, you should be bringing home a bag of mix that is specifically formulated for concrete repair. If your hardware store does not have this product, you will need to buy liquid adhesion compounds to add to the mix. 

Mistake: Trying to use a regular trowel to create the perfect form.

Making the perfect stair form will require more than just one type of traditional concrete trowel. There are stair lip forming trowels and float sponges that are meant to be used for this task, and without these tools, you will have a very difficult time getting the right result. 

Mistake: Skipping forms when concrete repairs require thick layers of the mixture.

If your concrete repair job is going to mean adding on a hefty layer of concrete repair mix, you may be a lot better off to take the extra time to build forms around the sides of the stairs. Otherwise, the weight of the material can cause an outward bulging that can be very difficult to control with just a trowel. Forms can be built using sheets of plywood and 2x4s for bracing, and once constructed, the forms should be left in place until the concrete is completely cured. 

When it comes down to it, even a simple concrete step repair job can be a lot more difficult and complex than what most homeowners realize. If you have concrete steps that are starting to look a little rough, talk to a professional concrete contractor, such as Pyramid Concrete & Consulting Ltd, for advice before you decide to tackle the project on your own.