Here’s what we did today… We did a patch in a driveway using fiber mesh bag mix concrete. The particular product we used was Crack Resistant Concrete from Sakrete. The “crack resistant” part refers to the fact that this mix includes a fiber in the mix, which creates a stronger more reinforced concrete when cured.
This repair is the fixing of a trench we cut out of the driveway in order to place a new sewer line. Why did we need a new sewer line? See: Adding a Shower Anywhere You Want!
The fiber is generally considered a suitable alternative to the welded wire fabric (the big rolls of steel wire sort of like chicken wire with bigger holes) and it does a great job of reducing the frequency and severity of cracks in concrete. On a small job like this it’s not worth buying a whole roll of WWF and I really prefer to use fiber in cases like this. It’s really convenient to be able to grab it in bag mix form all ready to go! That must be why I’m smiling… it’s certainly not because of the abundance of volunteers to help me load it! (Hey, I moved my 1000 pounds today)
Mixing Bag Mix Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Mixing is pretty simple. Just dump the bag in a wheelbarrow and use a shovel to mix it with water. There’s information on the bag that shows how much water you need, but you don’t really have to stress over exact measurements… you can just add water until you get a good workable consistency. Use the shovel to be sure there’s no dry concrete mix left in the wheelbarrow and mix it up good, then dump it in the hole!
A couple of points to keep in mind…
- Especially for a driveway, you want the dirt underneath to be very well compacted to prevent settlement.
- Be sure to provide for enough thickness to create a strong slab… this is about 4″ thick
- If this was an interior patch you would want to put a vapor barrier like plastic sheeting
Smooth and Trowel Finish the Concrete
Use a trowel to finish the concrete as it dries. On a large repair in hot weather (it was over 90 degrees when this was being done) you would want to finish it somewhat as you go, then come back and keep working it as it dries. If you try to mix and pour it all before putting a finish on the concrete, you could end up with a surface that’s too dry and set to work with!
And Voila!… After that cures we’ll paint the entire carport and the repair as well with an epoxy floor paint and you’ll never know!
To see some of the bathroom project that made all this necessary, click here.
If you have any concrete repair stories or questions, let me know in the comments!