8

This is at an older family member's house and is the primary point of entry into the house.

What is the best way to go about fixing this? Can it even be fixed?

If it can't be fixed, is there anything that can be built over the existing structure? Since it's a concrete driveway I'm assuming not but I have no idea.

Porch pictures

enter image description here

2
  • 2
    On the more serious side, save your older family member's life and quickly do something temporary that gives them a stable, firm and even place to enter over. Commented Jun 20 at 13:40
  • 1
    it would be much, much less work to just pour a new one.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 20 at 14:49

4 Answers 4

17

The concrete slab is crumbling because large stones were covered up with concrete and the concrete had very little to adhere to. Your best bet would be to remove it and frame and pour a new slab. You could build a deck-like landing over the concrete but that would probably be more work than a new slab and would require maintenance.

7
  • 7
    I agree that it's unsalvageable, but not your reason. This concrete is simply rotten, either due to poor mix, salt overuse, or simply age.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 19 at 14:13
  • 2
    @isherwood If you look at all the pictures, the most damage has those large stones in it. That was probably the start of the probablem and all your causes followed.
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 19 at 15:04
  • 5
    RMDman, that's because you live in Florida. :) Freeze-thaw cycles are intensely destructive. Ice removal chemicals can absolutely do just this. I've seen it over and over.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 19 at 15:14
  • 1
    JACK, that concrete is disintegrating almost everywhere. That's not caused by poor substrate. We'd see simple cracking if that was the case.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 19 at 15:15
  • 1
    Is the definition of concrete "cement mixed with stones"?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jun 20 at 17:16
8

Aside - why did it crumble like this?

I see a vehicle to the right side of photo. If the damage is partially due to wheels driving into/over this step then some rebar/rod inside might be an excellent idea.

If it were me I'd break up all that old step using a sledge hammer. If it goes down deeper than the surrounding concrete, keep digging.

If it stops flush with the surround (i.e. it's plopped on top) then I'd get a concrete saw and cut in, or at the bare minimum drill some holes down to socket some rebar in.

Either way, build a form that will give the step shape you want. I can't tell from photo if its one step or two, but that door looks quite high compared to flat top of concrete. You may choose to make this two steps not just one.

Then fold up some reinforcing rod or rebar to provide strength - ideally anchor it to the existing driveway.

When you do the concrete pour, remember to vibrate it, or at least hammer the sides to release any air bubbles, and produce a nice finish. I'd suggest brooming the top surface to add a grippy texture for traction.

And if the occupant needs it, this is a perfect time to add a bolt-down handrail for safety and convenience.

2
  • 1
    That looks more like a ramp than a step, the top- relatively undamaged- isn't level. That would appear to support your suggestion that it's been driven (reversed?) over repeatedly. Commented Jun 21 at 6:15
  • I'm not entirely sure why it crumbled. It's been in a slow decline for a number of years. I think another person suggested it could have been due to over salting it and that seems likely. I don't think it's been driven over. But the upkeep on the house has not been the greatest either way
    – StephL
    Commented Jun 21 at 14:35
3

It is quite a step up into the door. Breaking up the concrete is hard work too. I like the idea of building a wood platform and maybe one step. That wood platform can be wider than the existing concrete, so posts would likely go into the surrounding dirt. May not have to dig out any of that failed concrete. And you can use concrete footers like for decks with 4x4 posts. I think it would look nicer than replacing concrete. And it would be more even with the door. Regardless the slab is hopelessly beyond repair.

1
  • Thank you! Really appreciate the suggestion
    – StephL
    Commented Jun 21 at 18:49
2
  1. No matter what, you will have to clear away the old one. It's not salvageable.

  2. I very strongly suggest a simple WOOD step (or ramp) is much, much better here than a concrete step (or ramp).

Note that you can very likely just BUY a ready-made wooden step (or ramp) of a close enough height.

Note that clearing away is heavy lifting but it will take no time. A few minutes. I'd get some local boys to do it for five bucks. You will need a big pickaxe or sledge.

2
  • 1
    A ramp is an excellent idea !
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 20 at 19:28
  • 1
    Oh that's a great idea to look into. Thank you!
    – StephL
    Commented Jun 21 at 14:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.