The condition of your front porch steps can add to or detract from the look of your home. If your front porch steps are aging or were poured incorrectly, they may be in need of repair or replacement. Here are some tips to help you improve or remove for replacement your home's front porch concrete steps.
Repair Your Porch Steps
If your concrete steps still have a sturdy foundation, but their surface has begun to crack and flake apart, you can repair it without removing them entirely. You can fill in all the holes and cracks over the surface of your concrete to create a smooth, even-toned surface. Concrete resurface product contains cement, sand, and a polymer additive that makes the surface smooth and even again.
First, sweep and remove any loose and chipped pieces of concrete from your steps. Then, clean the concrete's surface by spraying it with a power sprayer to remove any residue, paint, or sealers that will prevent the concrete resurface product from adhering. Allow your steps to dry and mix up the concrete resurface product according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Use a trowel to spread the concrete resurface product onto the damaged portions of concrete steps to fill in the holes and any missing chunks. Use the trowel to shape in the corners and edges on your steps. Then, spread a layer of resurfacing concrete over the entire surface of your steps to make the surface uniform and smooth.
Watch the weather forecast before you start this project. You need to have at least 8 hours of 50 degree F weather or warmer when you have finished spreading the resurfacing product for it to properly set. Then, the temperature over the next 24 hours needs to stay above freezing. Otherwise, the new concrete surface will not set and will crack and break apart.
Remove Your Porch Steps for Replacement
If your front porch steps have begun to slant or lean to the side because their foundation is crumbling, uneven, or broken, you should replace the steps entirely. Uneven and unsteady front porch steps can be a safety hazard to anyone who uses them.
First, demolish the steps from the front of your house using a sledgehammer or jackhammer. You can demo the concrete yourself by using a sledgehammer, an electric jackhammer, or a pneumatic jackhammer.
A sledgehammer is good for breaking up thinner slabs of concrete, 4-inches thick or less. Some porch steps may be built from a cinder block foundation covered with thin slabs of formed concrete so you can use a sledgehammer to break them apart. Other concrete steps have been poured as a solid concrete porch, so you will need a more heavy-duty jackhammer, such as the pneumatic hammer for demolition.
The pneumatic jackhammer is more powerful as it is powered by an air compressor. This jackhammer will break apart your crumbling porch steps quickly so you can begin framing in your new steps.
When you begin to demo your steps,make sure to start on the corners and edges of the concrete. If you start hammering in the center of a concrete slab, you can end up burying your jackhammer's blade in the concrete where it will become stuck and the concrete will remain unbroken.
You also don't want the chunks of concrete to be too heavy to haul away because one square foot of concrete can weigh 150 lbs. Breaking the concrete into smaller chunks will make it easier for you to lift and dispose of them into the dumpster.
Wear appropriate eye protection and cover any nearby windows with plywood when you demo concrete. There is a chance that chunks of broken concrete can fly into your eyes or into your home's windows, causing damage.
Use these tips to help you repair or remove your old and crumbling porch steps. For more information or assistance, contact local demolition teams.