Concrete steps are a great and durable access method for a front porch. But concrete, like any building material, can show some wear over time. If one of your front porch steps starts to crumble, the broken stair poses a safety hazard and takes away from the curb appeal of your home. The problem is particularly noticeable when it's a middle stair flanked by healthy-looking concrete stairs on either side.
You can fix a crumbling stair on your own if you have a steady hand and some time to kill. You can find quick-setting concrete at most hardware stores but you might find more of a selection at your local concrete supply company.
There are a few key tips that can make your step-fixing process run smoothly for the best final result.
Properly Prepare and Anchor the Step
You want to make sure the crumbled step is as clean, smooth, and secured as possible before you add new concrete on top. You can start this process by using a chisel and a hammer to undercut along the rough edges where the still-healthy stair segment gives way to the crumbling section.
Use a hammer drill to drill some holes strategically in the areas where there is crumbled concrete. You can insert concrete screws into the holes using the same hammer drill. You want the screws to be positioned in areas where the existing concrete is weak enough to require filling but not too weak to support the screws, which will act as an added form of support. Make sure the screws are in deep enough that the screws will be fully submerged under the concrete once it is poured and leveled.
Finally, use a stiff wire brush to clean off any remaining debris on the step. Once the stair is clean and the mold is in place, which is described in the next section, you can use a stiff paintbrush to apply a concrete bonding adhesive to the step. Follow the package directions on application.
Take Time Setting Up Your Mold
Create a front form for your step using a piece of wood. You want the wood to be a few inches higher than you plan to pour the concrete and long enough to rest against the entire front of the step. If your stairs have a concrete railing on either side, you can cut the wood to wedge tightly between those railings to hold it in place. If you don't have railings, you can just skip to the next step of placing cinder blocks in front of the board to hold it firmly in place.
Pro tip: spritz an even coat of cooking spray on the side of the board that will be against the fresh concrete. The spray makes it easier to pull the board away when you're done.
Mix the Concrete to the Right Consistency and Trowel Well
Mix the concrete quickly according to package directions. Make sure the consistency is right: it should be thick enough to go on your trowel but not so thick that the concrete doesn't drip off when you hold the trowel vertical. Think of the consistency of overly thick cake batter.
Work in sections making sure you apply and smooth one section of concrete thoroughly before moving on to the next section. Contact a business, such as the Unit Step Company, for more information.Share
4 July 2016
Hello. My name is Don Watkins. Welcome to my website about concrete structures. Concrete is a highly versatile material used to create anything from driveways to tall buildings. Working with concrete requires a particular skill set and equipment knowledge. The concrete has a quick setting time, so professionals have to rapidly pour, form and smooth out the mixture before it sets. There are many ways to create the desired structure, so my site will explore each method used by concrete contractors. I invite you to come along on this journey to learn more about concrete structures. Please feel free to drop by anytime.