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NOTE: When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.

Exterior concrete can become worn or develop surface scaling and cracks over time and exposure to the elements. With proper surface preparation and material selection, durable repairs can be made to damaged areas, extending the life of the concrete.

Read on to find out how to make thin repairs to damaged concrete surfaces.

Removing damaged concrete with hammer and chisel.

Step 1: Remove Damaged Concrete

The first step in achieving a successful concrete repair is proper surface preparation. A solid, clean surface is necessary so that the repair material can permanently bond to the damaged area.

It is extremely important to remove any unsound or flaking concrete from the area before repairing. This can be done using a hammer and chisel, or with a masonry grinding disk and a portable drill.

Using wire brush to remove loose concrete material

Step 2: Remove Loose Concrete Material

Once the damaged concrete has been chipped away, use a wire brush to remove any remaining loose material.

Bottle of QUIKRETE Concrete Cleaner

Step 3: QUIKRETE Concrete Cleaner

The concrete should be cleaned before repairing using QUIKRETE Concrete and Asphalt Cleaner to remove any dirt, oil, or grease prior to applying the repair material.

Concrete and Asphalt Cleaner is a concentrated detergent that is effective and safe for use on any concrete, asphalt, paver, brick, masonry, or stone surface. It can be used in full strength for heavy duty cleaning or diluted for general cleaning.

Cleaning Concrete with QUIKRETE Concrete Cleaner

Step 4: Clean Concrete

Apply QUIKRETE Concrete and Asphalt Cleaner, scrubbing the surface with a stiff bristle brush. Thoroughly rinse the repair area with water after cleaning.

QUIKRETE Concrete Repair materials.

Step 5: Choose Concrete Repair Material

QUIKRETE concrete repair products are designed and formulated for specific repair applications. To make thin repairs on concrete surfaces, choose either:

  • QUIKRETE Vinyl Concrete Patcher: A cement based repair material that’s enhanced with a special exterior grade polymer resin that has strong bonding properties and can be applied from 1/4″ inch down to a feather edge. Mix with water and use for thin repairs to small areas with a chipped or damaged surface.
  • QUIKRETE Concrete Patching Compound: Used for non-structural, small, aesthetic repairs to concrete. Concrete Patching Compound is a pre-mixed, ready to use, acrylic latex formula that can be used for making repairs to cracks, holes, and breaks in concrete surfaces up to 1/4″ inch wide.

Mixing QUIKRETE Vinyl Concrete Patcher

Step 6: Mix QUIKRETE Vinyl Concrete Patcher

To mix Vinyl Concrete Patcher, add about 10 ounces of water per five pounds of Vinyl Concrete Patcher by pouring the Vinyl Patcher into the water.

The proper water ratio is an important factor in achieving a successful repair. The more water added during the mixing process, the weaker the bond strength and compressive strength will be.

Using a margin trowel, mix the Vinyl Concrete Patcher for three to five minutes. After a lump-free consistency has been achieved, allow the mix to sit undisturbed for about five minutes to provide time for the polymer to fully activate.

Remix the Vinyl Concrete Patcher prior to applying. Additional water may be added in small amounts to achieve a putty-like consistency. It is important not to add more water after the material has begun to set, as this will weaken the mix and can cause cracking or scaling.

Applying QUIKRETE Vinyl Concrete Patcher

Step 7: Apply QUIKRETE Vinyl Concrete Patcher

Dampen the repair area with water before applying Vinyl Concrete Patcher, since a dry surface will weaken the bond and can cause shrinkage and cracking. Use enough water to saturate the surface, but remove any standing water.

Vinyl Concrete Patcher should be built up in layers using a margin trowel. The first layer should be pressed into the repair area using firm trowel pressure.

Smooth the surface of the patch so that it is level with the surrounding concrete. Avoid adding water to the surface of the patch, as additional water can cause surface color inconsistencies and a weakened surface. The repair area should be protected from foot traffic for 24 hours and vehicle traffic for at least 3 days.

Applying QUIKRETE Concrete Patching Compound

Step 8: Apply QUIKRETE Patching Compound

Use a margin trowel or putty knife to thoroughly stir QUIKRETE Concrete Patching Compound before applying it to a clean, dry concrete surface.

Spread and texture the concrete patch to match the surrounding concrete, wetting the trowel to achieve a smooth finish.

For patches or cracks over 1/4″ thick, Concrete Patching Compound should be applied in multiple layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next.

Concrete Patching Compound will begin to form a skin in about 20 to 40 minutes and harden completely in one to two hours, depending on temperature, humidity, and patch depth. Concrete Patching Compound should be only applied when temperatures are between 50° and 90° F.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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