Asked on Aug 30, 2018

How do we repair the sides of these concrete steps?

Kelly-n-TonyWilliamOceeB
+3

Answered

We would like to find a way to repair the sides of the steps leading to the front entrance. The footpath area seems sturdy, but the rocks they used as filler many years ago are exposed on the sides because the concrete has fallen away. Any money saving suggestions? There’s also a walkway leading up to the steps that could use a bit of repair.

q how do we repair the sides of these concrete steps
5 answers
  • Debbs
    on Aug 30, 2018

    I have never done anything but fresh concrete - - -no repair experience. However, with that said I would certainly not avoid doing it myself. I think I would remove the loose big rocks and other loose debris, see if I could drill/chisel some holes into the existing concrete, make forms on the sides of the mass of steps in at least 4-5” width extension from the steps, make some tied rebar supports that would fill the extension spaces and have its ends fit into the drilled / chiseled holes, mix my own concrete and pour it in making certain to avoid air pockets and make sure it gets all the way into where the rebar fits into the drilled holes. This will help bind the new and the old so the new does not just tip away from the old concrete. Then depending on the climate and exposure in your area, I would cover the surfaces of the steps in a tile application like terracotta, flagstone, or rough surface slate – neither one are slippery choices – avoid any smooth shiny options. With what appears to be vinyl siding, you are stuck in your color scheme, so I think the slate would offer a nice overall appearance with the white trim. I myself would go with the darkest black slate I could find, but even a charcoal darker than the siding would look nice. Epoxy grout will hold up well and the slate should withstand most weather climates except the extreme cold regions with good annual sealing. As far as the walk way/sidewalk…if it is level still but just cracked and pitted, you could extend the look by cleaning and filling the cracks/chips/etc and resurface with the same slate. If it is cracked and buckling or lifting, there are slab jacking companies that can apply concrete UNDER the buckled portions to level it out. Depending on how big and how bad it is, you may be money ahead to remove and re-install. I have installed new sidewalk/walkways DIY renting a motorized mixer and having a couple strong men to all the brut work and me be the smoother finisher. It is possible to achieve good results with DIY’ing it. I don’t see any totally free options being viable choices. I imagine someone with repair experience could repair the sides with less effort than my approach. I think you could find some great Youtube videos that may guide you on your project.

  • Linda Kessler
    on Aug 30, 2018

    For a quick fix until you can completely tear apart and repair, cut painted lattice to take shape and size of stair side. Then screw onto stairs.

  • OceeB
    on Aug 31, 2018

    Wow, Those look like they would be unstable. What does the other side look like. You could try to place concrete blocks with the solid end facing out. This would add some support but the measurements may not work. Once in place to make it seem original, mix quickrete and smear on the sides to hide the concrete block seams.


    Here is a link with some repair ideas from this old house

    https://www.thisoldhouse.com/discussions/topic/help-cave-underneath-concrete-steps

  • William
    on Aug 31, 2018

    Remove the rocks and dirt. 0nce all the dirt is brushed out stuff the rocks back in the opening making sure they are below the surface and snug. Mix some Quickcrete fast setting cement to a thick consistency. Stuff the Quickcrete in the holes and smooth out. It dries fast so it won't slump.

  • Kelly-n-Tony
    on Nov 9, 2018

    Once you are sure the steps are safe deal with the cosmetic....Take a piece of plywood cut to fit each side . Using a scroll saw cut a design into each. Paint to match and attach.

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