We recently faced a challenge; a few pavers had broken off the edge of an elevated pathway and fallen. They were mostly intact but this wasn’t a clean break which meant large gaps and a highly irregular fit when we put them back in. This video shows how we went about fixing these broken pavers with our Concrete Repair Stick.
The video is only about 3 minutes long and probably the most informative way to see the process and results. We also expand on it below.
Why we chose Concrete Repair Stick
This particular job presented a few different challenges for whatever product we used.
- It needed to bond well to the pavers. Anything less than a high strength bond meant that it was likely we’d just be repeating this process again in the future.
- It needed to be able to cover large gaps. As you see in the above demonstration video, some of the gaps we were working with were up around 15mm across.
- It needed to be easy to apply to irregular little crevices and gaps. The break-lines on the pavers were anything but clean. Some concrete was still stuck to them in parts. This meant we needed something we could, I believe the technical term is "shove", into those spots as required.
- It had to be ok to use outdoors.
- It had to look ok. Something that matched the surrounding concrete would be ideal. White would be ok as we figured it would get dirty over time and be alright.
It was when we looked at all these considerations that Concrete Repair Stick was chosen. It ticked all the boxes and, best of all, was also simple to use at a good price. Next step, getting things ready.
Preparing the Putty
Getting things ready was simple but we’re mentioning it because of how important it is to the result. Obviously, giving the area a brush to remove excess debris is important and this was our first step. After that, cleaning the surfaces to be bonded.
In our experience, this is where an awful lot of problems can arise. Skipping the cleaning can be fatal to the chances of any glue, adhesive or putty properly adhering. To remedy this, we gave the pavers a good spray with Weicon Cleaner S. This is a high powered cleaner and degreaser and it’s very fast-acting. Like we said, a simple step but one that all too often gets forgotten.
Finally, we just made sure to put on some rubber gloves and then got to work.
One of the benefits of using Concrete Repair Stick was how easy it is to work with. One of the downsides is that makes this section a little boring. No great challenges were overcome. No dragons slain or pavers saved from certain doom. The experience was far more mundane.
All we had to do was remove the putty’s plastic cover, cut off bits (we used the blunt edge of a Stanley knife), knead it until it had a single, consistent colour, and stick it in. That was it. We repeated the process many times as our experience has taught us it’s easier to work with smaller, more manageable bits of putty but there wasn’t much else to it.
A couple of quick notes though.
- If you do decide to cut off a larger portion (or even mix the whole tube at once) be aware of pot life. Pot life is a measure of how long you have, after the putty is mixed, to work with it before curing beings. For Concrete Repair Stick, pot life is 6 minutes but this can be faster or longer depending on temperature and environment.
You want to have the putty in place before pot life is up.
- Wetting your gloves a little can be a great help. We’re not advocating drenching them but just dampening your gloves a tiny bit can help reduce friction with the putty as you’re mixing it. It can also make the epoxy a little easier to smoothly apply.
We can’t say whether this is true with all two-part epoxy putties but a tiny amount of water has never hurt our ability to work with any of the Weicon Repair Sticks. Epoxy putties naturally give off heat while curing anyway as a by-product of the exothermic reaction which takes places so chances are the water won’t last long but by then it will have done its job.
Testing the Results
After applying the repair putty, we left it for a few hours. This was done in December in Brisbane so it was probably about 30°C with 80% humidity. When we came back to check, the results were great. High bond strength had been achieved (when we tried to pull the pavers the whole row started to move ahead of the ones we’d just repaired) and the colour was good.
Overall, the results were exactly what we’d hopes for. Gaps covered, an adhesive/filler that fit in with the mortar on the other pavers and, most importantly, pavers that were now very secure and unlikely to come loose again any time soon.
What we’d do differently next time
Despite the positive result, there are a few things we’d do slightly differently next time we have a similar job to do. In the hope of saving you all some time, we thought we’d go right ahead and include them:
Buy better gloves.
We used home brand ones we had lying around and managed to rip one within 10 minutes. It obviously didn’t stop the job, but it was incredibly annoying.
Be faster to sprinkle water on our gloves.
We probably waited a little too long to dampen our gloves and made the first batch of putty a little harder to apply then it had to be.
Have more putty on hand.
For those of you who watched the video, you’d know we repaired these pavers in two separate sessions. The reason for this was maddeningly simply, we ran out of putty. Yep, the guys who sell the stuff didn’t accurately anticipate how much they’d need for the job. We were pretty proud of us.
Obviously, we did what we could with what we had, picked some more up from our warehouse and finished the last paver next time. Would have been better if we’d grabbed one of the 115gm tubes rather than a single 57gm though as at least we could have finished and just kept any left overs.
Is Concrete Repair Stick right for you?
If you’re looking for a flexible, simple and permanent repair putty for stone, bricks, pavers, concrete, granite, sandstone or marble – quite possibly, yes. It bonds very well to these surfaces (and many, many more), cures quickly and has a final appearance that matches that of concrete.
Concrete Repair Stick is just one of the styles in our range though. We also offer ones specially made for wood repair, plastics, stainless steel, copper, aluminium and even one (aqua) that will work underwater. Believe it or not, that’s not all of them. The table below very briefly summarises the available styles:
|Repair Stick Type||Concrete||Aluminium||Aqua||Copper||Plastic||Stainless Steel||Steel||Titanium||Wood|
|Metal (e.g. stainless steel, brass, cast iron, aluminium)||+||++||++||++||+||++||++||++||+|
|Hard Plastics* (e.g. epoxy laminates, rigid PVC)||+||+||++||+||++||+||+||+||+|
|Wood (e.g. oak, beech, spruce, balsa)||+||+||+||+||+||+||+||+||++|
|Derived Timber Products (e.g. plywood, MDF)||+||+||+||+||+||+||+||+||++|
|Fibre Reinforced Materials (e.g. GFRP, CFRP, Fibreglass)||+||+||+||+||++||+||+||+||+|
|Stone (e.g. granite, brick, concrete, marble)||++||+||++||+||+||+||+||+||+|
++ = Highly Compatible
+ = Compatible
- = Not Compatible
*Performance will vary depending on the exact type of plastic being bonded. Generally, low surface energy plastics will be much harder to bond to then high surface energy (such as rigid PVC).
Of course, each of these is available now for fast delivery. If you would like assistance in selecting the best epoxy repair stick for your application, or have any other repair or maintenance work you need help choosing a solution for, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to assist.