repairing concrete patio flooring & attached walls
Your help and comments are, as always, greatly appreciated.
We have an enclosed patio with a concrete floor. It has some long cracks in it, some of which have up to a 1/2 inch height variance between the planes of concrete. there are also some smaller sections of concrete along its edges (e.g., 2'x3') that seem to have been poured ad hoc which don't match the original level of majority of concrete.
On top of the concrete, a previous owner used some kind of packed mud & straw mixture (up to 1 1/4 inch thick) to level the flooring (hard vinyl tiles that he then tarred/glued to it). Later on, they seem to have wanted indoor-outdoor carpet which they glued on top of the hardened tiles using some kind of glue now yellowed with age.
What we want:
1) level & repair the concrete floor.
-- Maybe grind down some cracks/surrounding concrete.
-- Can we fill-in cracks with that much difference in height?
-- Can we grind down the ad hoc patches of concrete?
2) fill-in/support the insides of the patio walls since they are approx an inch above/gapped away from the concrete floor.
-- What material is best for that if you plan to do more work on this space in 7-10 years?
3) coat the floor with some kind of slate-like look
-- not sure whether stain or paint or "epoxy" coatings make sense. any suggestions?
What can be done DIY and what ought to be done by contractor? and what kind of contractor too?
The slab has a structural issue with the 1/2" rise this tells me that you have had a frost heave (if you live in the north), poor compaction under the slab originally or someone drove something heavy on it.
Any repair you do will at some point in the future crack/heave again.
Unlike commercial/industrial projects, residential slabs have the least care taken to ensure items like this don't happen. Inspections are not as strict so this has been happening for years and will continue for years to come.
The best solution pending budget is to remove and replace the slab, this involves chipping/cutting out the old, proper subgrade prep and compaction, forming, rebar mat, repour, cut expansion joints to help with normal/natural cracking of concrete.
Putting a cap in what you already have is possible but will always crack where the existing cracks/joints are and will again heave/settle where you have the current issue.
A DIY can complete the prep work with a little research, I suggest a qualified concrete contractor to do the pour and finish, that is the easiest part of the job, but if done incorrectly looks horrible.
Chris is right on!
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