Posts Tagged ‘masonry’


How To Repair Concrete Steps and Curbs: Fixing A Crack Won’t Break Anyone’s Back

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Whether or not you’re the type of person who’s bothered by slight blemishes like a crack in concrete, those little fractures need your attention – ice, dirt, and roots can deepen the crack until it becomes both hazardous and unsightly. Fortunately, learning how to repair concrete steps and curbs isn’t always backbreaking.

Here are some tips for DIY repair of three common problems: crack large and small, chipped stairs, and damaged curbs.

The required materials, standard fare at any local hardware store, include:

How to Repair Cracks in Concrete

Small cracks don’t require concrete to repair; instead, you can just grab masonry crack filler, which can be used with a caulking gun. Brush the area clear of dust and debris and wash it down with a hose. After it’s dry, just apply the filler and trowel off any excess.

Bigger cracks require a hammer and chisel. These are used to undercut the edges of the crack, which will allow the vinyl patching compound or mortar to set in more securely. After undercutting, sweep away debris and wash the crack down. Mix the patching compound per manufacturer instructions and tamp it in with the trowel, then smooth it down. As it sets, scrub with wire brush until it matches the surrounding area..

How to Repair Chipped Concrete Steps

If your steps are significantly damaged or chipped on a corner, the procedure is the same as repairing a crack, but it will require mixed concrete, a trowel, and straight planks to use as a form. Just place the planks flush the planks against the steps, clean up the steps with the brush and hose, and apply the concrete and bonding agent.

How to Repair a Concrete Curb

If the curb is too damaged, you’re going to need a jackhammer to clear up the broken pieces. After breaking up the blemished areas, sweep away debris and apply the concrete as previously instructed.

More extensive damages may require replacement of the whole curb – in this case, contact a contractor or your local government.

Want to hire a handyman restore your concrete curbs and steps to their maximum appeal? TalkLocal matches and connects you by phone to a top ranked handyman who knows your problem and wants to help on your schedule. And it’s free! Just describe the task you need done, when, and where. Then stand by until you hear from a handyman near you. Visit TalkLocal to get started.

Building a Cement Sidewalk

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Building a Cement Sidewalk - Handyman

If you want to enhance the curb appeal of your home and replace that ugly, old, cracked path, building a cement sidewalk might be an excellent idea. You could either complete this relatively simple project on your own, or you could try to find a competent landscaper living and working in your area, who would gladly lend a helping hand, allowing you to finish this task on time and on a budget while taking pride in spectacular results.

What type of materials should I buy for my project?

You should know that the most recommended material for your new sidewalk is by far a concrete mix, based on aggregates like gravel, crushed stone and sand, and paste, obtained after mixing water and cement. Concrete is a cost-efficient, maintenance-free, durable material giving you more bang for your buck, so this particular material might be indeed the ideal option at hand when it comes to building a cement sidewalk.

Prepare the tools and do your homework

1. While in most regions you don’t need a special approval to build a cement sidewalk on your property, in some areas you have to obtain a building permit before implementing any changes. To avoid embarrassing situations and a fine, make sure you contact your local building inspector first, and ask them whether you need a permit or not.

2. Next, gather all of the necessary tools, including rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and professional concrete finishing utensils.

Getting down to business

3. Define the layout, using hardboard siding, a spacer block and marking paint.

4. Establish grades by using a laser. If you’d rather opt for a simpler, cheaper method, rely on a line level and on a string line to come up with a flawless sidewalk design.

5. Afterward, start digging. Use a shovel and a premium sod cutter to remove the excess soil. If you’re usually dealing with drainage problems, it is recommended to elevate the sidewalk a bit.

6. Once you’ve finished excavating the area, start forming the sidewalk by using rigid, yet extremely flexible pieces of plywood.

7. Use a string line and form pins buried in the ground to guide your next steps in the right direction.

8. Pour the necessary amount of concrete and roll it properly by utilizing your concrete roller.

9. Cut the edges with a stick edger and eliminate all imperfections by using a magnesium float.

Ask for help

Building a cement sidewalk requires lots of time, more than a few tools, and special skills. If you don’t have what it takes to complete this project on your own, simplify your mission by contracting a local handyman. Find the best ones in your area by consulting TalkLocal, your trusted source of information designed to help you meet reputable specialists who live and work in your area.