Repair or replace concrete-slab patio?

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Q My 12-by-15-foot concrete patio has cracked from the center out to three corners. The freeze-thaw cycle each winter only widens the cracks. Is there a satisfactory way to mend the cracks or should we remove and re-lay the 4-inch concrete slab? The Rev. Howard E. Fox Strasburg, Ohio

A Concrete cracks can be mended or filled, of course, but the end result is not always aesthetically satisfactory. The patching usually shows and is quite unsightly.

There are other options available to you short of jack-hammering out the old slab and installing a new one. Incidentally, that may not be too big a project, anyway.

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Would you like a brick, tile, or flagstone patio? You could use the old cracked slab as a base. If the patio is covered you could even use outdoor carpeting.

Visit a masonry or patio supply store to see the various kinds of tile, brick , or stone which are available. See if one such surface will suit your fancy and purse. You can determine the cost of each surfacing right then and there and compare it with the cost of removing and replacing the old slab with a new one.

Another option is to put a new concrete slab or topping over the old one. Would the increased elevation be acceptable?

Ordinary concrete, if less than 3 or 4 inches thick over the old slab, may craze or crack, however, but there are specialty concrete products which can overlay an old slab in a minimum thickness.

Check out all the options and then make up your mind.

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