What You Need to Know About Concrete Repair

Kristi Pahr
Written by Kristi Pahr
Reviewed by Matt DiBara
Updated March 3, 2022
grey and brown house with concrete driveway
Photo: Iriana Shiyan / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • Concrete is porous and prone to cracking or degrading over time.

  • Concrete resurfacing costs $3 to $5 per square foot, depending on the damage.

  • Repairing small cracks in concrete can be an inexpensive DIY project.

  • For more extensive repairs, consider hiring a concrete professional.

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Your patio, driveway, or pool deck may not be what it once was. Concrete surfaces look fantastic when they’re new, but after a few years, life happens. Wear and tear from daily use, expansion and contraction from temperature changes, and stains take their toll. Your concrete may need to be removed and repoured, but many issues can be repaired, saving you time and money. 

What Causes Damaged Concrete?

Concrete is durable, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. It’s a porous material, making it susceptible to temperature, weather, and general wear and tear. The most common types of concrete damage are:

  • Stains from spills or fallen leaves

  • Pitting from salts in the winter

  • Cracks result from expansion and contraction due to temperature changes

  • Mold or mildew growth from wet or humid weather

  • Chips and scratches from shovels, outdoor furniture, and other heavy-use items

  • Cracking and shifting due to ground movement or tree roots

5 common types of concrete damage, including stains, pitting, cracks, mold, and chips

Cost to Repair Concrete

The cost to resurface concrete is about $3 to $5 per square foot, depending on the extent of the damage. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to repair cracks in a concrete patio is about $5 to $300. The price varies based on whether you fix the cracks yourself or hire a professional to complete the repair. You can also purchase concrete sealers for about $0.10 to $0.75 per square foot

For more in-depth repairs—like filling holes or wide cracks—the cost for a DIY repair kit can climb up to between $50 and $150. For full or partial replacement of slabs or sections of private walkways, the cost increases to about $1,000 to $3,000 for a 50-foot sidewalk.

Can I DIY Concrete Repair?

man sealing driveway with a broom
Photo: KQ Ferris / Adobe Stock

Some concrete repairs, like sealing narrow cracks, are simple DIY projects that may only take an afternoon. Tubes of self-leveling epoxy are available at home improvement stores that make this project simple and straightforward.

Other repairs—like broken chunks, uneven or sunken slabs in walkways, or a surface with exposed aggregate—might be better suited for a local concrete installer.

If you hire a professional, the labor cost will run between $50 and $150 per hour plus materials.

Types of Concrete Repair

Depending on your particular concrete issue—cracks are the most common—there are several methods that professional concrete installers can utilize for repair. 

  • Epoxy injections stabilize small cracks—less than 0.05 millimeters. For epoxy injection to be effective, the crack cannot be active or widening, and it cannot be part of a web of cracks. The epoxy stabilizes the crack and helps keep it from spreading.

  • Concrete stitching is a method of repair that uses tie bars inserted into slots. The slots are either perpendicular to the crack or offset at an angle. A pro places the bar into the crack and applies grout or epoxy to prevent the crack from widening.

  • Routing and sealing is a two-step process. First, the pro carves a channel longitudinally through the crack—known as routing. Then, the pro fills the channel with epoxy or polyurethane sealant. After the sealant cures, the excess is ground or sanded from the top to ensure a flush surface.

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