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Patching Cracking Concrete

Aside from sprucing up the exterior appearance of your house, repairing cracks and holes in concrete also prevents water damage and improves safety. Cracks in concrete can allow water to travel into areas where it isn't invited -- like a crawlspace of your basement, which can wreak havoc. Furthermore, cracks, potholes, and uneven concrete are notorious causes of nasty falls.

Frequently, extensive or severe cracks in concrete are the result of a soil condition that needs attention. For example, an inordinate amount of water may exist in the soil beside or below a path or foundation, causing the soil to expand and the concrete to crack. All of the cosmetic crack repairs in the world won't correct a drainage problem that could conceivably result in more severe damage if left uncorrected. Address excessive moisture due to over-watering or poor drainage before making any crack repairs. Standing water, mold and mildew-laden walls and siding, cracks in walks and walls, and difficult to open doors and windows are telltale signs of poor drainage.

Using a masonry drill and a tube of clear or gray silicone caulk, you can easily mix up a concrete patching compound that leaves the crack virtually invisible. Find an out-of-the-way spot in your cracked patio or step, such as just below the grade. Using a masonry drill bit, drill a hole in the hidden area and collect the dust coming out of the hole (just place a small flat metal pan under the hole). Next, apply a bead of caulk to the top of the crack. While it's still fresh, sprinkle the masonry dust over the crack and work it into the caulk with your finger. After you're done, sweep away the excess dust and viol?-no more crack.