Finding a crack or even a hole in a cinder block wall or even concrete can be daunting for the average homeowner, don’t panic yet as it can be repaired!
It is best not to attempt basement walls until the reason for the cracks is determined by a professional and repaired as it could be a much bigger problem than just “a crack”
In Florida, cinder block homes are nothing new. While remodeling the “office” as I call it (I’ll not mention what my wife calls it,) installing ceramic tile flooring, removing very old wallpaper and painting I received the usual surprise when from under the paper covered walls sprang… cracks.
There were even a couple of areas where the original builder had built the wall up to hide defects when finishing the wall. After 30 years the drywall compound had dried and begun to flake, leaving me ample room to practice my skill at patching.
There are several products available suited to our project, but an epoxy concrete patching mix is best for what we want it to do. It needs to be able to have a thin layer in places and still adhere well epoxy patch will do that. Always read the instructions, as some products can’t be spread thinly or shouldn’t be.
If the crack is very thin it may be necessary to widen it with a four-inch disc grinder be sure to wear eye protection, as it will throw concrete dust at you. A dust mask is another necessity as breathing the concrete dust is definitely a bad thing! All that’s needed is a small v groove on the wall so don’t get too carried away.
At this point you really need a good shop vac, it can suck up all the dust and smaller debris without destroying itself. The area needing patched must be clean; I used a wet rag to eliminate any residual dust as a final precaution.
Before mixing any material be sure to have a few items on hand as once you start you can’t leave it for very long or it becomes…concrete.
1) You need a small trowel to spread and mix the epoxy concrete patch with
2) A 10 to 12 inch long flat trowel with the handle in the middle of the back portion makes it easier to spread over larger areas or feather the edges.
3) A five gallon bucket to mix and carry it in
4) Another necessity is old clothing, something you can stain or tear and care less about.
5) Damp rags for cleaning spills or drips
6) A drop cloth to protect the floor
A small crack even if it is a long one will not need much in the way of patching material; it’s usually best to mix the epoxy patch in small batches. I use a five gallon bucket to mix with, the high sides help prevent spills while mixing and are easy to clean between batches or when finished. The small hand trowel (concrete type) can be used to mix it.
Use a small amount of epoxy concrete patch to start, try two cups or so and mix in small amounts of water at a time. Very small amounts, you can add the epoxy concrete mix to thicken but you may end up throwing a lot of it out if you mix too much. Follow the manufacturer directions carefully for consistency, too dry it won’t hold, too wet and it will not stay where you put it!
For overly deep patches, add the epoxy patch in layers as it will hold and adhere better.
Use the longer flat trowel to feather at the edges and keep the patch flat, remember you can’t sand imperfections, you have to grind them so get as close to the finished look as your able.
Be sure to clean your tools and bucket in water before the patch dries or they will be unusable whenever you need them the next time.
Once the epoxy concrete patch has dried, you can coat it over with drywall compound if you want or just paint it. Nothing to it!