Concrete is composed of cement, aggregate (including crushed rock and sand) and water. In homes, it's frequently seen in the foundation, driveway, sidewalk, patio, and stone walls. Note that bricks use mortar in the joints, not concrete.

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What water:cement:sand ratio gives the strongest mortar?

A typical mortar mix ratio is 1 cement : 3 sand. But what is the water ratio? Is it 0.5:1:3? Would a 0.5:1:2 ratio be a stronger mortar? Our next door neighbor has a dog that digs like a pro. The ...
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103 views

How long should it take concrete to fully cure?

I have just had a backflow valve installed in the basement. The man had to chip away some of the concrete, he then put new cement down. He also had to do some work outside around the foundation, he ...
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Basement subfloor, how exactly should I do it?

I am finishing a basement with my father and want to put in a subfloor. I know if there was ever enough water I would probably have to replace the floor anyways but want to give myself a couple inches ...
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How to improve garage floor look and color?

Here is a image of my garage floor. Hi-Res Link This is after a professional high pressure water cleaning contractor that used degreaser and bicarb soda chemicals to try to rid the floor of oil ...
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27 views

How can I prevent condensation under vapor barrier on a 1st floor room with flooring?

We bought last year an apartment of the 1st floor. The building has garages and utility rooms right under our level and the two bedrooms face north. One of the bedrooms has actually an external wall ...
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94 views

basement bathroom flooring options in old 1929 house

I have an old house built in 1929 in Minneapolis, Mn. I need to replace water damaged rotted basement bathroom floor(toilet and shower leak another story). Current floor is 2" by 4" sleepers set on ...
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647 views

How wide does a 6x6 concrete post footing needs to be?

Need to attach 6x6x8 posts for a free-standing pergola - I'll use Strong-Tie anchors attached to the concrete footing. The hole for the footing will reach well below the freezing line, but how wide ...
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47 views

Brick pillars gone now what?

I have a back concrete patio in pretty good shape. Surrounding it on 2 sides are concrete pads (| is one pad and the other is -). These two pads are about 1 foot a piece wide. The X's are the brick ...
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How do I seal an existing concrete floor before patching it?

We are patching an old concrete slab and we are having a problem with the glue or concrete seeping through small cracks onto the floor below. Is there something I can seal it with before we pour?
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What is the best way to fill a hole in a concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has a hole cut where the water line enters the house. This hole is around 2ft square, and digging down a little I hit dirt and small roots. I'd like to seal this hole as I believe it ...
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639 views

Should I set wooden porch pillars into, or on to concrete footings?

I'm building a wooden porch on the front of my house. I have six 4" wooden pillars supporting the structure. It's light, doesn't contain concrete, roof tiles, etc, and is made entirely of wood. I'm ...
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521 views

Stabilizing a gravel driveway with massive holes and steep inclination

I have inherited a 270 feet long driveway along a steep hill. It is part gravel/stone, and part concrete. It is in very bad condition. Every winter, rain threatens to wash away parts of it. Driving ...
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84 views

What can I do about 2x4 wood expansion joints that are above the surface of the concrete?

I have a lot of concrete in my yard that has several 2x4 6-10 foot wood expansions. The 2x4's are now between a 1/2" and a full inch above my concrete. What can I do to fix this? I thought about a ...
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1answer
106 views

What does this concrete pool surface look like?

This is a surface of a concrete pool after an acid wash. I first thought it is plaster covered with paint, but then, by the feel and look of it, it does not seem to be paint. Hence I have several ...
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70 views

Should a concrete pool look like this after an acid wash?

I'd like to redo after the contractor who did an acid wash of my pool: But before I start, I'd like to understand (since I have never seen the pool acid washed before): is that what "the product" ...
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105 views

How do I smooth a concrete pool surface after an acid wash?

After an acid wash, the surface of the pool is very rough. What should I do to smooth it out?
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80 views

What is the recommended thinset when tiling over concrete?

I am about to start tiling a concrete area of my home about 220 sq feet. I was wondering if there is any specific type of thinset I should be using for a concrete surface. The tiles will be 12x12" ...
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258 views

What should I do about a horizontal crack around my porch slab?

This crack runs all the way around my porch slab but doesn't go into the foundation where the basement starts. The ranch house was built in 1956. The porch was framed in and our office is in there ...
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1answer
85 views

How should the concrete anchoring some fenceposts relate to the driveway they're puncturing?

I'm about to have some 8" cores drilled through a concrete driveway in order to run a fence across it. I'll use 4x4 posts, probably cedar, sunk several feet deep and anchored in concrete. Should the ...
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118 views

laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting

The small town where I live gets below freezing in winter and above 100º F in summer. I need to know which mortar joint width and ratio is best for laying a brick patio myself. As far as I know, ...
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91 views

Abutting brick or paver stones to foundation

I have a little area between our deck and garage that would be perfect for the grill. Right now it is dirt, with nothing but dandelions thriving. +---HOUSE---------- | ...
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Is this vertical gap in the concrete block foundation something to worry about?

I'm looking at a home that has a vertical gap or crack running the height of the exposed concrete block foundation. The crack is near the center of the home, about a foot to the right of the concrete ...
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How can I install T molding on concrete subflooring?

I'm at the point where I want to install some T molding for the transition from our main room to the bedrooms. I just took a look at the directions and they only show screwing the track into the ...
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54 views

What is the process for using a mold to make a concrete patio?

I have a concrete mold and I would like to know how I should prepare the part of my yard where I want the concrete pattern to go and after pouring the concrete over the mold how long should the mold ...
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61 views

Should the cement floor adheres to the concrete slab?

If I want to use a cement floor (with broadcast color hardener) over a concrete slab (laid over compact soil), should it adheres to it, or be separated? The concrete slab is rough, the cement layer ...
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How to make 3“ concrete ”legs" via reusable casting structure?

I have a design for a (set of) planter(s) I'm trying to make, and to make the design I have in mind, I need an 18" long 3" OD leg with a bit of rebar in them. (let's say 100 of these bad boys in ...
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What are the dimensions of the steel in the concrete slabs on the upper floors of my house?

Drilling holes (for curtains) in the ceiling of the 1st floor(2nd floor in the US) of my house I ran into a steel rod in the middle, running parallel to the outer wall. The steel is about 2.5cm in ...
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1answer
920 views

How to increase height of existing concrete slab?

An existing patio has flag stones set over a concrete slab. If you were to remove the flag stones and thinset, what would be the best way to raise the level of the existing slab to make up for the ...
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1answer
194 views

Do I use dirt or gravel to fill around a cement form for a fence post?

Background: I know you're not supposed to dig a really wide hole for a fence post hole. But the previous owner of my home did not know that. He or she dug a really wide hole, filled it with a bunch of ...
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Driveway expansion joints are rotting wood: What to replace the wood?

My driveway was poured in sections with lengths of 2x4 which remained between the slabs as expansion joints. Due to heaving and moisture many of these are in poor shape. I replaced one once by ...
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Should I use self leveling concrete to repair settlement cracked concrete slabs?

I have a concrete slab in the breezeway of my house that has several settlement cracks in it. Can I use self-leveling concrete to repair this?
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267 views

How to use fiber optics to illuminate glass tiles?

Just a cool idea I've been kicking around for about an hour, I'm trying to figure out how it could work. I'm considering doing this with backslpash tiles and maybe even some shower tiles. Ideas: ...
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Inner walls of house are all concrete block…?

I bought this house 9 years ago, it was built in 1954. A few years after I had gotten it, I decided to get creative and pull down some of the paneling on a wall that separates the kitchen from the ...
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Treating a crack in a concrete patio before resurfacing

I am resurfacing a covered outdoor concrete patio. The original slab has a crack in it due to some heave. I am not particularly worried about this crack, however. The soil below is hard clay, and the ...
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How can I remove water-based emulsion paint from paving slabs?

On painting the bedrooms in our new house, we've gotten some (mainly) water-based paint on some of the paving slabs on the patio. A little of it may be oil-based gloss we used for skirting boards, but ...
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Edge considerations on mosaic staircase

I'm renewing our old outdoor concrete staircase going to the garden. I've decided to install glass mosaic as surface finishing. I've got advice from the specialized shop regarding water-proofness of ...
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Preserving cracked concrete

I have a garage built with concrete blocks and the walls are surrounded on the outside by a layer of concrete rendering. The problem is that large cracks have built up in the rendering over time, ...
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2k views

How do I add veneer stone to an exterior painted wall?

I have an exterior painted wall and am interested in installing a stone veneer. I realize that I may have to install wire mesh to the areas but I'm wondering if there is a material that can be used to ...
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Did I properly grade the ground around my house? [closed]

I had some water issues in my basement recently. Taking a good look at all the possible causes I noticed the landscaping around the front my house was slopping in towards the house. So to fix this I ...
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Should I use a 6 mil poly moisture barrier for engineered hardwood floor installed over concrete slab-on-grade?

I am planning to install an engineered hardwood floor over a slab-on-grade subfloor. The slab is bone dry but I understand it's wise to install a moisture barrier anyway. My plan right now is to ...
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1answer
190 views

How do I repair this damage to my driveway?

After the brutal winter, my wife and I found several locations on our driveway where the concrete is crumbling. This is the worst of them: In the past, I have used self-leveling concrete caulk ...
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How to caulk vertical seams of concrete step risers?

I am recaulking some concrete steps, and the concrete/masonry caulk I bought says it's self leveling and for horizontal surfaces only. Are there caulks that are meant for concrete but will adhere ...
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How do I prepare this exterior concrete wall for paint?

I have a an exterior concrete wall that had some loose paint and started scraping away. The paint in some sections was so loose that I went all the way to the bare concrete, peeling away over 6 layers ...
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1answer
2k views

How can I paint/stain an interior concrete floor?

I have a very lovable aging bulldog who has peed on the wall-to-wall carpet enough that I'm ripping it out. It's over twenty years old anyway. The subfloor is a concrete slab. My goal is to make the ...
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How do I repair the bottom lip of a concrete slab?

(My issue is kind of like this question but more of a missing chunk than a thin crack.) I have a concrete patio in the front of my house that was fixed by a previous owner after a bottom chunk broke ...
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1answer
39 views

Worth it to add footing insulation if there's already a thermal break?

I've been considering insulating the outside perimeter footings of my 1972 ranch house in northern New Mexico. The slab-on-grade it's built on (that constitutes the subfloor) reaches a temperature ...
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How to prevent outdoor wall touching concrete fom getting moisture issues?

In my house the drywall is contact with the concrete. This is putting lot of moisture in the drywall and eventually it will start to rot. What is the best solution in this case to isolate the wall ...
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Cinder Blocks crumbling

As it is evident from the pictures, cinder blocks on the bottom of the wall are disintegrating. I have tried painting with special paint but it continues to happen. How do I replace them? Why is ...
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Renovating Crawlspace with Poured Concrete Floor

My newly-purchased 1950s home has a below-grade crawlspace with a poorly-poured concrete floor. Specifically, it is very coarse and looks like it was poured and spread with a garden rake. In some ...
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958 views

How do I level a concrete basement floor with a 1" dip?

I want to level my concrete basement floor, but on one end it slants down over 1" (over a 3'x15' run). Can I fill this area before using self-leveling compound, to save money, or what else could I ...