Filling Cracks with Concrete Caulk

Occasionaly concrete caulk should be used to fill cracks and gaps in the concrete around your home. We don't like use the word "repair" for cracks because that can be misleading. The word repair implies that it's a permanent fix. It is impossible to fix concrete once it cracks. Instead, we refer to filling cracks as "treatment".

Reasons for Filling or Treating Cracks

  • Minimize water seepage through the concrete
    This can be very crucial for foundations, walls, and concrete up against a foundation.
  • Eliminate potential hazards
    Vertical displacement occuring along a crack my be a tripping hazard. Caulking can help smooth the transition.
  • Preparation for another flooring or topping.
  • Fill gaps where concrete has pulled away from a wall or other structure

Types of Caulk Used for Concrete

  • Butyl Caulk
    A rubberized caulk that is ideal for concrete and masonry but can be difficult and messy to work with.
  • Acrylic Siliconized Latex Caulk
    Most commonly used because it is easy to work with and clean up. Acrylic means it has adhesive properties and the siliconized latex gives it flexibility which allows for expansion and contraction.

Before applying the concrete caulk, some preparation is needed to ensure maximum adhesion. Clean the surface along the crack thoroughly to remove any dirt, debri, or previous coatings and caulk. Use a pressure rinse to clean out the crack and allow it to dry completely. Don't apply it when it's too hot or too cold. Surface temperature should be between 40 and 110 degrees. Make sure there's no rain in the immediate forecast.

concrete caulk

foam backing rod

Application just requires a little common sense. The instructions are printed on the tube. Obviously, wider cracks will need more caulk to fill the gap. For gaps that are 1/2 inch or wider, a foam rod backing can be inserted to significantly reduce the amount of caulk needed.

Although a crack will always be visible, especially when filled with caulk, there is an easy trick to make it less noticeable. Immediately following application, spread some dry cement on the wet caulk and sweep the excess away when it's dry.

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