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How to Repair Cracked Concrete

A person smoothing concrete patch material on steps with a trowel.

Updated April 30, 2021

Brian G.

By Brian G.

Concrete is tough stuff but it can still crack. Fortunately, you can learn how to repair cracks in concrete by following these instructions.

Concrete Crack Repair

Applying masonry crack filler to a cracked driveway.

The technique for patching cracks will depend on the size of the crack.

 

Narrow Cracks

  • Remove any loose debris from the crack and surrounding area with a wire brush and broom before the concrete repair. 
  • Narrow cracks can be filled with a masonry concrete crack filler that comes in a cartridge designed to be used in a caulking gun.
  • Alternatively, you can create a concrete patch with a vinyl concrete patching compound applied and smoothed with a putty knife. Vinyl concrete patching compound doesn't require the use of a latex bonding agent.


Wide Cracks

  • Use a small sledgehammer and chisel to undercut the edges of the crack. Undercutting the crack makes it wider at the base than at the surface, providing a mechanical method of keying the concrete patch in place for a more secure and permanent repair. For more information, see How to Break Up Concrete.
  • Clean the area in and around the crack with a wire brush and broom. Wash the area with a stream of water.
  • Mix vinyl patching compound as directed by the manufacturer and trowel the compound into the cracks. Tamp the mixture to remove air pockets with a tamper. If you use patching mortar instead of vinyl concrete crack sealer, either mix it with a bonding agent instead of water or coat the edges of the surface to be repaired with a bonding agent.
  • Smooth the mixture with the trowel.
  • When the patch has set (see manufacturer's instructions for the patch compound you're using), smooth or brush the surface to match the surrounding area.
Caution

Wear gloves, safety glasses, a dust mask, long sleeves and long pants when drilling, hammering or chiseling concrete.

Repair Concrete Walkways and Steps

Repair Concrete Corners

Repair Concrete Slabs or Paths

Remove Paint From Concrete

Concrete is porous and absorbs paint well. Here are some recommendations for removing spilled paint.

Keep in mind that you may have to repeat these steps more than once.

Caution

Wear protective equipment and follow product instructions when pressure washing or using chemicals.

Tip

Ready for another project with concrete? Watch our DIY Basics video: How Do I Set a Post in Concrete?

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