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Question DetailsAsked on 3/20/2014

Can I just repair concrete steps vs replacing them?

I've gotten rates of $300-$600 to repair my concrete steps with the caution that it wont be all that. (miscolorings, etc). Though one guy did mention that I could just white-wash it. (though could i gray-wash it? is that such a thing?)

And for brand new steps its coming out to be anywhere from $1200-2200. What do you recommend and whats an optimal price?

Also, would brick be a better/cheaper option?

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Depends on condition - if the concrete is pretty well disintegrating deeper than the reinforcing and fist sized or larger chunks are falling off due to freeze-thaw action or use of ice melt, then your choices are pretty much either replacement, or if solid steps type and you have an inch or two clearance to door sill, forming and casting an overlay over the existing concrete. Overlay may last 5-10 years versus 25-50 for new.

Brick overlay not really an option - it needs sound concrete under or it will start spalling off quickly, and if you are going to have to fix the conrete to do brick might as well just fix the concrete, unless you want to fancy it up with brick. Also - more expensive, and generally requires more maintenance than solid concrete - occasional chipped or loose bricks, etc.

If just surface deterioration with reinforcing maybe showing in small spots here and there, the damasged concrete can be bush hammered away down to sound concrete, any exposed rebar coated with rust preventative, then repaired with concrete patch grout - a special cement based patching material that is latex or epoxy modified to adhere and last well in thin overlays (up to 1/2 to 2" depending on type). For uniform color, the surfaces not being patched can be wire brushed or sandblasted and then "painted" or thinly trowled over with the concrete patch grout at the same time so it is all the same color.

No gray wash except "painting" with patching grout, but there is also deck and garage floor paint, in several colors, you can paint cleaned and sound concete with, though you will have wear-through in the foot paths in a few years and have to recoat from time to time.

Note - if you get it fixed an they have to remove the railing to do concrete repair, be sure they clean up and derust and put rust preventative on fasteners, or usenew fasteners, as they are probably pretty rusted too. Cost might increase $50-100.

Be sure whatever they do, that they put a broom finish on it - lightly dragging a stiff bristle broom over it while setting so it has a traction surface on it. Another alternative is sprinkling traction grit (coarse angular quartz) over it after finishing it to provide traction - works as well or better, but hurts like heck if you fall on it - really tears the skin off. What you do not want on steps is a smooth troweled finish.

And of course, make sure the finish surface where it meets the house is angeld up a bit at the house so water drains away from the house, and a flexible foam or asphaltic (preferred) strip should go between house and steps as a crack-filler.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Great Answer LCD.

Repair-ability really depends on the nature of the failure and conditions.

Answered 5 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions

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