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    Cement steps cracked by metal railing - best way to repair?

    Asked Jan 31, 2007, 04:04 PM 2 Answers
    I have steps in the back of the house that are poured cement, about 6 inches thick, sitting on top of a wood and stucco structure. Embedded in the steps is a metal handrail. Every step where the metal is embedded is cracked and broken. I believe that over the years, water has snuck in between the metal and the concrete and caused the concrete to fail.

    I need to repair this. My thought was to chip away at the broken concrete until I hit good concrete. Then I was going to make a form and pour concrete in to bond with the existing concrete step.

    Is this a viable approach? I also am wondering if there is a good way to seal the metal/concrete junction to prevent water getting in and causing the problem all over again.

    I have attached a photo that shows the worst of the steps.

    Thanks,
    PeterM

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    Ace High's Avatar
    Ace High Posts: 191, Reputation: 22
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    #2

    Jan 31, 2007, 04:21 PM
    Are you located in an area that will freeze?? If you don't allow for the expansion of freezing water it will always find a way to fill in little places and expand. I would suggest not closing the concrete in so close to the object or allow for a small drainage when you pour the next cement patch. -- Ace
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    PJMonty's Avatar
    PJMonty Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jan 31, 2007, 04:47 PM
    Ace High,

    I live in Southern California. Contrary to popular belief, it does get to freezing temperatures here in the winter. Not often, but it does happen a few times pretty much every year. In fact, during the nasty cold spell we had a couple of weeks ago, the temperature got to 27 degrees at my house.

    When you say you would, "suggest not closing the concrete in so close to the object," what are you suggesting exactly? The vertical metal railing was embedded in the concrete (by whoever installed it) in order to hold the railing in place. If the concrete doesn't surround the metal, then the railing will just wobble and be a safety hazard. Am I misunderstanding you?

    I'm also not sure how I would provide a "small drainage", per your alternate suggestion.

    Thanks,
    PeterM
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