How to Repair Concrete Steps

Concrete steps are exposed to the elements every day. After time, the steps can crack or begin to break apart. Cracked steps pose a potential safety risk to people entering or leaving your home and must be repaired. Use these instructions to repair concrete steps.

Steps

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    Clean the damaged portion of the concrete step. Remove all loose gravel, sand, dirt, and cement with a clean, stiff wire brush.
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    Make a form. Screw 2 short pieces of 1 inch by 6 inch (2.54 cm by 15.24 cm) lumber together at a 90-degree angle to form an "L" shape.
    • The form can also be held together using several long pieces of duct tape.
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    Align the wood form. Place the wood form against the damaged corner of the concrete step so it is flush with the top of the step. Tape the form to the step firmly with duct tape.
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    Lubricate the form. Spray a coat of cooking oil spray on the inside of the wood form to prevent the wood from sticking to the new concrete.
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    Apply bonding liquid. Use a paint brush to apply a thick coat of latex bonding liquid on the damaged portion of the concrete step were you will be applying the new concrete.
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    Prepare quick-setting cement. Mix a small amount of quick-setting cement in a plastic bucket according to the instructions on the packaging.
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    Dampen the area. Moisten the area where you are going to be adding the new cement so that the existing concrete will not draw the moisture out of the wet cement, making it less likely to harden properly.
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    Apply the cement. Use a pointed trowel to scoop the cement onto the damaged portion of the step and press it into the wood form. Overfill the wood form slightly.
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    Smooth the newly laid cement. Use the flat side of the trowel to smooth the cement so it is flush with the remaining portion of the step.
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    Allow the concrete to dry overnight.
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    Remove the duct tape and the wood form.
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    Keep the cement moist. Use a spray bottle to moisten the new concrete patch 2 or 3 times a day for 3 days. Then moisten the patch twice daily for a week.

Tips

  • You may need to remove any additional loose cement in the damaged area using a hand sledgehammer. Unless all the damaged cement is removed, you'll probably need to redo the repair as the new patch may be unstable.
  • The wet cement mixture should hold together in a clump when you squeeze a handful. If the cement mixture crumbles, add more water. If it drips, add more dry concrete mix.
  • It is important to keep the new cement patch moist for at least the first week after making the repair. Maintaining a sufficient moisture level is necessary for the new concrete to cure and harden properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush
  • 1-inch by 6-inch (2.54 cm by 15.24 cm) lumber
  • Duct tape
  • Drill and screws (optional)
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Latex bonding liquid
  • Quick-setting cement
  • Plastic bucket
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Hand sledgehammer, if needed
  • Trowel

Article Info

Categories: Concrete