With winter well on its way, it’s time for many homeowners to start thinking about getting their homes ready for colder weather and everything it brings. One particular area of importance is sealing up cracks in their concrete, whether in foundations, blocks, driveways, floors, or even home walls.
Why should you worry about cracks in concrete? Well, for starters, they can be huge money pits once the weather starts getting colder, reducing the efficiency of your heating dramatically by letting warm air escape and cold air to enter. Cracks can also allow moisture—even full on streams of water—to enter your home.
Over time, this moisture can loosen the fill around your foundation or under your driveway and lead to sinkholes or structural damage.
Repairing and sealing cracked concrete is a simple procedure, and can usually be done in a single afternoon with one trip to your local home improvement store and a couple hours of labor.
- Examine all the concrete on your property and identify cracks that need sealing. Look for water stains on concrete walls, as these can indicate micro-cracks that are difficult to see otherwise.
- Clean the area around the crack to remove oils and other chemicals, as these will hamper the process.
- Use a chisel and hammer to “key” the crack. This means holding the chisel at an angle to make the inside of the crack wider than the outside, and will help your sealant hold better. Remove any loose pieces or dust with a vacuum and brush.
- Use a sealer recommended for your application. Generally, Epoxies are better where structural reinforcement is necessary, and polyurethanes work best for stopping leaks where no structural reinforcement is needed.
- After letting the sealer cure, seal the concrete with a water-based polyurethane sealer to prevent staining and protect your concrete from abrasion. Two coats are good for walls and other low-contact areas while three or four should be used on high-traffic surfaces.
Call the experts at Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to help you seal the cracks in your concrete to protect against flooding and structural damage. You can also enter your zip code above to find a Handyman Matters in your area.