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Tips for Applying Concrete Finish

We live in an age of concrete. Wherever you go in modern civilization, from the public sidewalks to the skyscrapers downtown, you're going to find concrete everywhere.  Therefore, it would be most unusual if you live in a house that does not use concrete somewhere. Perhaps it's the entry that goes to your front door, or it might be in your driveway where you park your car. Maybe you've used it for your fence posts, but chances are, somewhere on your property, there is concrete.  The reason it's so universal is because, if used correctly, it will last for decades. Nonetheless, it's possible at times for concrete to become damaged. You might experience some chips or cracks in the concrete structure.

The result? Well, of course, the structure will look a lot tackier than it did. But even worse, as concrete breaks down like this, it causes the structure to weaken. It's essential that you repair the damaged concrete, or if not, that you hire someone else to do it. Procrastinating with this project might make the situation worse, and in the long run, will cost you more money. So how do you avoid this?

The first thing, of course, is to try to avoid the situation. You do this by checking each spring around the premises. Notice all concrete on the property, and look especially for cracks and flaking. If you catch it soon, this can be fixed at minimal cost.

When it's time to fix the damage, picking the right product to do the job is critical; there are so many different products available, and not all of them do the same quality of job; in fact, many are designed for slightly different things. For example, some jobs might require just some patching. However, if the concrete has small cracks around a half -inch wide, patching would not be easy. In this case, a better choice would be using a liquid sealant, which you can place directly into the crack.

For a job such as this, you'll need several materials. These include: sealant, caulk, asphalt / concrete cleaner, sand, a caulking gun, and a scrub brush and wire brush.

Once you have the materials on hand, clean all dirt and debris away from the crack with the wire brush. Then clean away the heavier dirt and grease.

Next, open the sealant. You want the size of the tube's opening to match the size of the crack you're filling. This will help it to fit correctly, thus ensuring a neat result. Now insert the tube into the caulking gun, and squirt. Do your best to keep the sealant in the hole, and not overflowing the edge. If it's a deep crack, fill it about a fourth of the way with sand first, with sealant on top.

In a few instances, you might find a need to fill in concrete on a wall or other horizontal structure. In this case, clean the spot as described above. The main difference is to keep the caulking gun at an angle, with the filling action also at an angle, as you squirt the sealant into the crack.

Once you've filled the crack, examine it. If you see an overflow of sealant, gently rub some fine sandpaper over it, smoothing out the area to make it even.

One last piece of advice. Weather can play a role in the success of your concrete-repair project. It's best to work on a warm day, because either rain or freezing temperatures may play havoc on the sealant. If you do this right, your concrete structure should be sturdy enough to last you several more years.

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