We live in the age of DIY, when seemingly every common problem with a house, car, or yard can be fixed with a bit of ingenuity, a tool belt, and a couple explanatory youtube videos. While the Do-It-Yourself’ers are definitely worthy of applause, they should take a step back from some problems and leave them to the professionals.
Filling cracks in concrete
Have a few annoying cracks in your concrete that you would like to get filled? While you could go to a local caulking contractor and have them do it for you, most caulking projects can be completed at home with relative ease. All you will need for your project is a bit of backer rod and some self-leveling sikaflex. This becomes a bit more of an issue as the crack grows wider, with wider cracks being harder to caulk adequately. For concrete sections that have intensive cracking (a spiderweb appearance) or crumbling, caulking will not be an option and a replacement slab must be poured.
Patching a small section of concrete
Depending on the size of the section needing replacement, purchasing some ready-mix concrete and a wheelbarrow is a viable option. This is something that any dedicated DIY’er should be able to do, but it requires a defined area for pouring; if an area of concrete is not properly confined and slopes at the edges, the thin edges will quickly begin to chip away.
There has been a trend on Facebook and Youtube recently showing how to resurface slabs at home. While definitely possible, it is not recommended due to the complexity of the project and the potential for a poor result. JACKCRETE recommends finding a local contractor for such a project.
While concrete pouring can be completed at home as long as the area is small enough, concrete lifting is always better left to the professionals. Some videos exist showing DIY concrete lifting repairs, but the methods used show little hope for a long-term solution because the compromised soil is not properly densified. When hiring a professional for concrete lifting there are two main options, mudjacking and foam jacking, which we explain in another article.
The DIY culture has spurred some great ingenuity and industry in recent years, but certainly has its limits. While there are plenty of household projects that can be completed by someone with a little know-how and internet access, other projects require a much greater depth of knowledge and are not to be approached lightly.