If you want a permanent set of stairs to complement your deck, porch, or patio, it is no surprise that one of the most efficient solutions is concrete. However, if you live in a home that has an outdated set of concrete steps, there is an entire list of repair issues that can come up. If you are considering tackling this repair job all on your own, you may have a lot of questions, especially if you have little experience working with concrete. Here are a few of the most common questions and the answers you should know before you get started.
Will you have to build a form to repair damaged concrete steps?
A concrete form is usually only necessary when building the stairs in the beginning. You will most likely only be using a few inches of material to resurface the stairs. Therefore, the concrete will stand firm on its own without having support in place. However, if you have a step that is severely damaged, such as an entire corner broken off or a large notch taken from the edge, a form may be helpful to use in order to stabilize the concrete mixture while you work.
What kind of tools should you have on hand before you get started?
Concrete work will require several different tools, some of which you may have hanging around, but most you will likely have to buy. A few tools you will need to properly complete the repair and create a smooth finish include:
- Trowels of several different sizes specifically designed for concrete work
- Concrete mixing bit for your drill
- Float sponge for leveling the concrete with a slurry coat
Is it necessary to do both a thick concrete layer and a slurry coat when making repairs?
You will notice when you buy concrete mix for making repairs that the instructions often say you should actually do the repair in a two-step process that involves a thick mixture and a slurry coat. If you skip the slurry coat, it is not that the concrete will not set up as it should, but it will not be as smooth surfaced. Therefore, it is best to follow the directions even though it may take longer to complete.
In the end, a lot of homeowners find that hiring a professional for concrete repair makes a lot more sense. This is especially true if you have no experience and would have to buy all of the necessary tools to make sure the job is done the right way. The end result and the time savings on your part will be well worth the cost to hire a concrete repair professional like D & R Masonry Restoration, Inc. for help.