finishing concrete to look like aged stone

finishing concrete to look like aged stone

Tips To Understand And Repair Cracks In Your Patio

by Patrick Taylor

Whether you have a simple wood deck or an elaborate space with fireplace and grill, having an outdoor space is a great investment for your home's appeal and value. Of course, proper cleaning and upkeep are important to protect your investment in outdoor living. Unfortunately, even with proper maintenance, your patio may develop imperfections, such as stains and even cracks in the concrete or asphalt. While alarming, proper understanding of how these cracks developed is smart for preventing future issues. Using this guide, you will understand how cracks developed in your patio and learn the best options to repair your outdoor living space.

Causes of Cracks in Your Patio

Determining the exact reason your patio has cracked can be difficult, since there are so many factors that play a role. If your concrete patio was poured within 30 days, settling and curing may cause cracks.  These cracks may not be very noticeable, but they could spread, resulting in larger, more dangerous problems in your patio.

Cracks may develop in your patio due to these other issues, as well:

  • Moisture – Moisture will build up on and around your patio, washing away its underlying foundation over time. This can weaken the patio's surface, cracking the top layer of the concrete or asphalt.
  • Weathering – The ultraviolet rays of the sun and extreme hot and cold temperatures can discolor and dry out the patio surface. This excessive dryness will cause the surface to be brittle, which will eventually create cracks in the concrete or asphalt.
  • Chemicals – Even if your patio is sealed, spilling chemicals onto the surface may weaken the concrete and asphalt. Avoid spilling gas, fertilizer, paint, paint thinner, oil, and other toxic chemicals on your patio.
  • Weight – It is important to note that excessive weight can weaken and crack your concrete  or asphalt patio. Your patio should be able to support a grill, hot tub, and even some outdoor furniture, but avoid parking any heavy machinery or vehicles on your concrete or asphalt patio.

Repairing your Cracked Patio

Before repairing the cracks, spend some time cleaning the patio surface before applying any filler product and sealant.

To prevent harsh chemicals from damaging the concrete or asphalt of your patio, use a natural cleaning solution that contains 2 gallons of warm water and 1 cup of baking soda. Add to an outdoor pump sprayer and shake to mix, dissolving the baking soda into the water.

Remove any items from the patio surface. Place furniture, grills, umbrellas, garden planters, and décor into your garage, storage building, or another safe area of your yard. Then, use a broom to sweep away any debris on your patio. This will remove leaves, dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris.

Spray the baking soda solution generously onto your patio and allow it to sit and soak the surface for 30 minutes before rinsing off with your garden hose. If you notice any stubborn areas of dirt or mildew, spray the baking soda solution onto the area and scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse off with your hose a second time.

After your patio dries, you can begin the process to repair the cracks. If the cracks in a concrete patio measure 1/8" wide or narrower, apply an epoxy or latex patching product over the crack with a putty tool. Spread it evenly over the crack and allow it to dry overnight.

For wider cracks in your concrete or asphalt patio, you will need to fill the space with fine sand and pack it in tightly. For concrete patios, cover the crack with a cement compound. For asphalt patios, cover the crack with a blacktop compound. Be sure to spread the compound over the crack evenly with your putty knife and allow it to dry overnight.

Your patio space is an imperative part of your home's appeal, value, and function, so proper maintenance is essential to protect this large investment. With this guide, you will understand how these cracks develop and learn how to repair patio cracks successfully.

For more information, contact a local paving contractor


About Me

finishing concrete to look like aged stone

Do you love the look of old stone walls and dream of one day having that look around your home? I was amazed at how my contractor transformed my boring block wall into a real work of art. The contractor used a combination of tools, stamps and stains to finish the concrete and create a spectacular looking stone wall. If this is something you want around your home, take a few minutes to browse through my blog. You will learn about the techniques, materials and styles that you have to choose from to finish just about any concrete surface around your home.