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Guide to Leveling an Uneven Exterior Concrete Slab

by Byrne Anderson
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Uneven exterior concrete slabs are both inconvenient and pose a considerable risk to people’s safety. If one intends to build anything or lay down outdoor tiles on a slab, it must be as even as possible.

There are several ways one can level an uneven slab, including; completely replacing the concrete slab, covering it with a leveling compound, or even grinding it. Grinding is quite efficient, especially when dealing with a large surface area.

Today concrete leveling compounds are available in most hardware stores, making it easier for people to level uneven slabs in a DIY manner. The compounds are placed on top of the already existing concrete, which allows room for repairs on the sunken points that may cause problems.

Guide to leveling an uneven exterior concrete slab with powerful grinding equipment

When dealing with large surfaces, it is advisable to rent out power grinding equipment from the rental centers that serve building contractors.

However, even for these power tools, the amount and intensity of work to be carried out determine which is most appropriate. For a big grinding machine, expect to spend between $80 and $160 per day, which can be more than ample time for the grinder to complete the set-out project.

For a smaller surface, one can opt for an angle grinder fitted with a diamond grinding wheel for about $50 per day. It is recommended that one engages a skilled operator. However, with free time, anyone can accomplish the task.

Safety gear is very critical, especially when one decides to do the job themselves.

Guide to leveling an uneven exterior concrete slab with a leveling compound

Step one

The first step when leveling any uneven exterior concrete slab is removing any dirt and debris built up on the slab’s surface. It is recommended that one first sweeps the slab surface with a broom and, after that hosing it down with cleaning water, using a garden hose or pressure washer. After the slab is completely dry, let it sit for about 30 minutes to dry.

Step two

One should then get a clean brush roller and paint tray, pour about ½ gallon of latex primer into the tray. Then, deep the brush roller into the primer, and then apply a coating of the latex primer onto the concrete slab. Give the latex at least 12 hours to completely dry.

Step three

Identify the uneven spots in the concrete slab that will require repair. This step will help one pinpoint the exact points you need to repair to avoid spending more money than necessary. Place a 2 x 4-inch wooden board onto the slab and repair the locations where the board lays unevenly.

Step four

Pour a leveling compound such as the Rapid Set Concrete Leveler into a clean bucket and add the stipulated amount of water. One should then thoroughly mix the concoction using a firm mixing stick to end up with a fine and smooth mixture with no lumps.

Step five

The final step is applying the rapid set concrete leveler compound to the points earlier established; when the low positions are appropriately filled, one should use a trowel to smoothen the surface. Speed is crucial at this stage, mainly because the leveling compound usually dries out in less than an hour after being introduced to water. After the concrete slab is adequately leveled out, it should sit for at least 24 hours to entirely and firmly dry up.

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