Many garden owners do not know it, but If left unattended, cracks can grow from hairline to bigger and deeper rifts in your garden concrete patio. Whether your garden is facing south or north, your garden patio is a nice feature and a good investment of your house, that’s why it is important to fix cracked concrete patio as early as possible.
This post will go over some tips on how to prevent concrete from cracking and how to repair cracks on concrete patio. Depending on your skill level, tips mentioned here could be done DIY or by a contract job.
Understanding cracks in your garden concrete patio
Cracks in your garden concrete patios can surprise you. It isn’t there yesterday or last month or last year but without any warning it is there now. The answer to this can be caused by one or more factors, but to understand it firsthand one has to know that a concrete, though solid, is also porous.
Not all concrete patios are created equal. The cement and water mixture can be the difference between a firm and a loose concrete patio, Some are just poorly constructed. And although all of them are subject to wear and tear, oftentimes the longevity of a good concrete patio is dependent on how it is set firmly and solidly. Yes, eventually cracks will show up, as a result of the foot and vehicle traffic on the garden and also of the seasonal change of temperature especially during snow.
Some possible causes of cracking are drainage problems, lack of maintenance, low quality material used and others. Many of these causes can be man-made and some are just hidden and accidental, but the most important thing is to determine if there is indeed a problem that needs to be addressed. Some cracks are usually superficial but it’s best to know if water is seeping through and being trapped in the cracks because it could be a sign of impending damage to the very structure of the house.
*Note that for newly build houses, there is also the settling period as it beds down with the movements after construction.
Fill cracks before it becomes a problem
Naturally speaking, the bigger the crack the more you have to take this problem seriously. Leaving it as it is and doing nothing may lead to an even bigger and costlier repair in the future. As mentioned earlier, a hairline crack may expand to wider and deeper crack soon, so for peace of mind and proper maintenance of your garden concrete pation, do something about it at the earliest convenience.
Fine hairline cracks can be remedied with a ready-made sealer from a hardware store or a thin layer of cement mixture on top. Bigger cracks which are 1/4 ” or more may need more direct and involved work. Before you or a contractor can directly access the crack, the surface has to be throughly clean first and free of any impurities. No water, dirt, weeds… and a dry and sunny weather above you to ensure the chore will set quickly. For the application, one would use either a squeezable tube filler (sometimes spreadable filler) and/or cement mix to cover and hide the cracks.
Preventing cracks from forming
Prevention is still the main medicine when it comes to preventing crack formation, but it doesn’t mean the cracks won’t show up though. Wear and tear is normal to all garden concrete patio and it is different scenario for each homeowner. We already highlight the importance of filling up cracks before it becomes a bigger problem.
Water will be that one element that will intrude on that opening and freeze deep inside the cracks, so fill it up before more damage is done. Snow, floods and other natural occurences cannot be avoided though but some construction planning and modification can correct this.
Expect well traffic areas to bear the brunt and the start of this crack on your garden concrete patio. The area where you enter and exit and frequently step on are usually where the stress are felt. Diverting your foot and also car traffic on this areas can ease some of this weight.
To sum this post, it is important to be aware of the cracks in your garden concrete patio and to come up with a plan of action. Some cracks may need cosmetic repair and some may involve extensive repair. At any case, the longer this cracks are left to seep water, the closer you are looking to a major damage on your patio and in the long run your house foundation.