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Old 08-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
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cement on a vertical surface


I just built some stairs (only 2 steps) going to an outside storage room. I used some blocks I bought at Lowe's. (really heavy,they probably weigh 60# each) these blocks are meant for retaining walls hence the sides of the blocks are angled in. (so you can build a curved wall) unfortunately, the steps are square with the foundation and the sides of the steps are not square. I'd like to make the sides straight and square with cement then paint it to look like the foundation. any tips for applying cement to a vertical surface? (I was thinking of using sand mix since this doesn't need strength) if a pic is needed,I'll post one.

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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cement on a vertical surface


Why would you not have used reguler blocks?

Google Parging for your ansewer?

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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cement on a vertical surface


How much of an angle? In other words, how thick does the cement at the edge of the step need to be?
Thin is possible without support. However, since you step on the edge where you want to extend the step, it will need to be strong.
If the thickest part of the new cement is, like an inch, you should reinforce it. I would suggest expanded metal lathe.

I suggest the following:
first, cut the lathe to fit. Then use a cement drill bit (small) and a screw to fasten the lathe to the step.
second, dry mix your concrete. I would use 6 parts fine aggregate (like ~70) + 2 parts portland + 1 part flyash.
third, coat the surface with an acrylic additive.
fourth, make a slurry using the acrylic additive and pure portland. Brush this over the surface to be parged.
fifth, use the acrylic for the liquid in the dry mix. The concrete should be about the consistency of peanut butter.
sixth, parge it on with a small trowel.
seventh, cover the fresh cement with a layer of plastic. Dampen it daily. Let it cure a week.

The lathe could be shaped like "7" with an extra little flap going down along the concrete block, or extend the top of the 7 across the whole top surface of the block. Across the top would make the whole step assembly congruent.

I have seen this done as well as having done similar cement construction like this.
good luck

Last edited by gobug; 08-13-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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cement on a vertical surface


a pic of the steps.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:16 PM   #5
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cement on a vertical surface


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a pic of the steps.
Good start there...now just form around the filler and pour a batch of concrete over the blocks.

use screws on the face riser form/so you can remove the form and finish the concrete face
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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cement on a vertical surface


Are these temperary?
Why would you not have pored a footing for this?
Any coating applyed will fail as that whole thing shifts.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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The pic really helps.
I suggest that you get some 1/4in cold roll pencil rod. It comes in ~20ft lengths. I get it at Rio Grande on Santa Fe in Denver. It is easier to bend than rebar, better for welding, easier to cut, and cheaper. You can also find it at a metal salvage yard in CO Spgs.

Make a frame using the pencil rod. Connect pieces together with tie wire. Parge cement over all the blocks and pavers. Then wrap the frame in exp metal lathe. Tie the lathe to the pencil rod with tie wire or hog rings. Add cement until the gaps between the lathe and the steps are full. Parge cement until the lathe is covered.

I have some pics, but have never posted any on this site.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
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cement on a vertical surface


thanks for the suggestions. they are appreciated. but,the actual truth is that I don't want to spend much time on this. I've got a bunch of other things to do around here. besides,these steps are around the back of the house to one side and the only person seeing it will be my "tenant". therefore,all I need to do is dress it up a bit and I was thinking of merely "filling in" and making straight the sides with sand mix (and texturing like the foundation) so it can be painted like the foundation. I know this is not the "professional" way to do this but it WOULD be quicker and easier. might my plan work? would the sand mix "sag" as it dries?
BTW: the ground around here has't moved one "iota" in the 20+ years I've lived here so I wouldn't expect any cracks.

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Old 08-13-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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The rental aspect alters my perspective.
Now my suggestion is to buy the wooden stair treads for 3 steps. Forget the cement, whichever route, if you can cheaply assemble an entry using just a few pieces of wood. If the tenant or the city is not a factor, just your time and money, leave it the way it is.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobug View Post
The rental aspect alters my perspective.
Now my suggestion is to buy the wooden stair treads for 3 steps. Forget the cement, whichever route, if you can cheaply assemble an entry using just a few pieces of wood. If the tenant or the city is not a factor, just your time and money, leave it the way it is.
yeah,leaving it as it is IS an option, especially considering that the last set of steps was just a pile of pavers. I just thought that since we were putting new "crushed stone" there,it might be nice to have some decent looking steps.

tnx,
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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cement on a vertical surface


I'm no expert, but if you're not not going to do it right with footings, I'd build a simple step with pressure treated wood.
That kinda looks like a sprained ankle (and resulting lawsuit) waiting to happen.

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