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How to Repair a Large Crack in an Interior Concrete Block Wall?

Concrete is the most durable block wall material available in the market. However, due to the effects of normal wear and tear, temperature fluctuations, root system, water seepage, and land settling, cracks may appear.

Small and large cracks on interior concrete walls should be worked on immediately to prevent further widening and deepening. Ignoring such cracks may harbor growth of mold and mildew, something that can negatively affect your health.

Worst-case scenario is when the cracks widen further and put the integrity of your structure at the risk of a collapse. Lucky for you, this article gives easy and simple steps to patch up cracks on interior concrete walls as a DIY project.

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Conduct a Thorough Inspection

The process begins with a thorough assessment of the damage on the wall. The shape and size of the crack determines the type of wall repair material and tools you will need for the project. It also gives you the opportunity to determine if the crack is large to an extent of needing the intervention of a construction contractor. It is also at this stage that you prepare safety gear such as gloves, a respirator and goggles.

Remove Debris from the Crack

By use of a chisel and hammer, gently remove loose concrete debris from the crack, starting from the top, working your way down. Ensure to go as deep as the crack goes so that you have a clear view. Then use a metal wire brush to remove sweep dust from the crack.

Sharpen the Crack

Using the same pair of chisel and hammer, sharpen the edges of the crack to pave way for patching. This is because the rough edges may hinder the proper application of the patching sealant. As you do that, be careful not to widen the crack further as this could weaken the wall and the entire structure.

Clear the Debris

Since a wire brush cannot entirely clean all the dust from the crevices of the crack, you will need some blowing. This is where an air compressor or the common household vacuum comes in handy; to remove the remaining dust from the hidden crevices. To fully clean the dust, hold the vacuum wand as close to the crack as possible. An air compressor is the best suitable since you just need a single blow to clear all the dust. Too much blowing with the air compressor might deepen the crack further.

Dampen the Crack

Use a yard hosepipe to dampen the crack but be careful not to soak it wet. Dampening the crack with water helps the patching material adhere to the existing concrete material, for better results. After applying the water, allow the crack to dry for 30 minutes before applying the repair material. The sealant will not conform easily to a very wet surface.

Add the Sealant Compound

If you are using dry patching material, mix it with water in a different container to avoid contamination. On the brighter side, there are ready to use concrete vinyl patching material but these are a little more expensive. To apply one, direct the trowel to the crack and squeeze the sealant bottle as you work your way down. Ensure to spray a little excess sealant, as it tends to shrink after drying up.

Remove Excess Patching Sealant

Once dry, use a putty knife to remove the excess patching material from the surface of the crack. Then use a sand paper to smoothen the surface in readiness for paintworks. As you do that, remember to dampen the surface to prevent cracking up due to temperature fluctuations. Keep dampening the patch daily for the next three days to allow the material to adhere before paintworks.

Paint the Crack

After drying up, apply a coat of primer on the fresh patch and let it sit for 3 hours. Then carefully apply the paint color that conforms to the concrete material for a great and uniform finish.

Having patched the crack, it is important to know what the cause of the crack could be and apply the necessary preventive measures. If it is water issues, you have to arrest this problem before further damages occur. If a tree is growing in the yard, very close to the house, consider cutting it down to prevent the root growth from causing more cracks. For very large and deep cracks, it wise to involve your contractor as these are a sign of a more serious underlying structural problem.

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