Thursday, July 28, 2016

How To Repair Cracked Concrete In An RV Driveway Sports Court

BackYard Basics by TechniSoil with host Terry Jensen. Our repair project is right in the middle of a combination concrete RV driveway and sports court. I’ll be using TrowelPave to repair jagged concrete corners that cracked and flaked away near the intersection of two expansion joints. The damage is spreading over time and becoming a dangerous nuisance.

An ankle-breaker on a basketball court is great when you’re trying to shake loose from a defender, but bad news when it’s literally a rolled ankle from stepping in a hole! This sports court is placed in the middle of a long RV driveway on the side of the home. It’s used for everything from basketball to skateboarding and is one of the most popular places to be at any backyard pool party.

The concrete is in relatively good condition overall, but over time the edges and corners near expansion joints have began to flake and crumble away. It is a constant source of debris on the court but more importantly it poses a risk to anyone who steps in the hole awkwardly.

First off as with most any project, I cleaned the area of loose debris. In this case, I used a screwdriver and pronged gardening tool to remove chipped and flaking concrete. After sweeping up the big pieces, I used the backpack blower to remove the remaining dust and particles. A pressure washer could be used to clean an area like this, but it’s important the area is dry before applying TrowelPave (no standing water).

Next, I opened up (1) 20 pound TrowelPave Concrete kit. The beauty of TrowelPave is it’s ease of application and strength in the most uneven repair areas. One DIY kit covers anywhere from 1 square foot at an average depth of 2 inches all the way up to 8 square feet at an average depth of a ¼”. My kit easily repaired small, miscellaneous damage areas within a 20 ft2 area.

Mixing the TrowelPave specialty aggregates and binder is easy and only takes a minute or two. It’s very similar to mixing a bag of ready mix concrete. I used a shovel to mix thoroughly inside of a wheelbarrow. The dry, sandy aggregates will begin to change color during mixing. Once the color is even throughout, the blended mix is ready for install.

I shoveled the material into place and started in with a small, round edged concrete trowel. The blended mix is not sticky so it’s easy to spread around and fill in cracks and divots. There is no need for any type of mechanical compaction with TrowelPave, all I had to do is pack down by hand with my trowel.

There were a couple handy tips that made this job go quickly. First, I needed to fill in narrow, linear expansion joints that can make it tough to evenly grade. The trick is to scrape some TrowelPave mix into a row over the repair area that is about an ⅛” to ¼” higher than grade, then pack it down with the trowel. The result is a nice, evenly finished surface.

The second tip is helpful to wrap up the project. I used a small whisk broom to lightly sweep away loose TrowelPave mix. I was careful not to disrupt my repair patch and it made cleanup easier than you would expect. TrowelPave has a workability of anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on temperature, so I took my time on the repair which was complete inside of about 20 minutes.

And that was it, done! I set some traffic cones up around the repair so it wouldn’t be driven or walked over. TrowelPave begins curing quickly, setting up hard within hours. But it’s best to allow 12 - 24 hours to fully cure and there shouldn’t be any water in contact during that time. No more ankle-breakers on this basketball court except for a defender getting crossed up by a shifty ball handler!

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