You can repair your cement steps this weekend

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Old houses — and even middle-aged ones — often have concrete front or back steps that have felt the wrath of the elements over the years and are crumbling along the edges. It takes time to recast the damaged steps, but it’s not hard! You can do it in a weekend. Information from HowStuffWorks.com.

Tools:

  • safety goggles
  • cold chisel
  • sledgehammer
  • whiskbroom
  • garden hose
  • hammer
  • sturdy wheelbarrow
  • shovel
  • stiff paintbrush
  • trowel
  • wood concrete float

Materials:

  • boards as long and wide as the steps to be mended
  • bricks
  • boards for sides of form
  • short pieces of 2 × 4
  • 4-penny common nails
  • ready-mix sand concrete mix
  • liquid concrete bonding agent
  • plastic dropcloth

Time: about 1 day; if several steps must be recast, plan on spending more time. In addition, you’ll need to spend a few minutes several times each day during the curing period.

To begin the project, prepare the edge of each damaged step by chiseling out the crumbling concrete.

Wearing safety goggles, use a cold chisel and sledgehammer to deepen and widen the open edge down to solid concrete. Angle the chisel to cut straight back into the riser of the step and to cut sharply back and down into the tread, forming an acute open V along the edge of the step.

Clean out the undercut edge with a whisk broom and flush it thoroughly with a garden hose.