These 3 Things are Ruining Your Home’s Curb Appeal—Here’s How To Fix Them
First impressions are important, and your home might not be making a good one. These three common issues might be why.
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to our homes, curb appeal matters. Whether you’re preparing to sell or you simply want your home to be the jewel of the neighborhood, making sure it looks great from the street is critical. Of course, maintaining its appearance takes work! Keep reading to learn what might be detracting from your house’s good looks, what might cause them, and how to fix them.
No One Wants to Park in a Spalling and Pitted Driveway
Spalled and pitted driveways are eyesores that rob your home of its curb appeal potential. These divots in the surface of an otherwise smooth driveway collect water, dirt, oil, grass clippings, and other grime, causing discoloration and a general funkiness.
Spalling can occur in a few different ways, including rust occurring on the reinforcing steel bars inside the concrete. But most commonly, the cause of spalling is water penetrating the surface of the concrete and freezing. When this water freezes, it expands, causing cracks and the surface of concrete to pop loose and delaminate.
Luckily, fixing a rutty, spalled concrete driveway isn’t as difficult as it might sound. With Quikrete Re-Cap® Concrete Resurfacer, you’ll be able to put a durable, fresh surface on top of your spalled driveway, thus restoring your curb appeal.
Start the job by pressure washing your entire driveway using high pressure. This will remove any dirt, oil, and loose concrete that might inhibit Re-Cap from adhering. Address any deeply spalled areas by cleaning them with a brush and patching them with a thicker consistency of Re-Cap.
Re-Cap sets quickly, so it’s best to work in small sections with smaller quantities of mix. Start by adding the recommended amount of cool, clean water to a bucket. Then slowly add the 40-pound bag of mortar mix to the bucket, mixing with a drill and paddle. Mix for about five minutes until it is lump-free, with a consistency similar to syrup.
Before applying Re-Cap, you need to dampen the surface and then remove any standing water. Then, pour the Re-Cap mixture onto the surface of the driveway and scrub it in with a long-handled squeegee. Continue to spread the mixture back and forth to cover the entire surface. Within five minutes, take a long-handled push broom and drag it across the Re-Cap surface to apply a non-slip texture.
To learn more about how to resurface your spalled driveway with Re-Cap, check out this video.
Crumbling Steps Are Leaving a Crummy First Impression
If the first thing people are experiencing as they walk up to your front door is a set of crumbling steps, your home’s curb appeal is taking a serious hit. Not only are those steps unwelcoming, but they’re also unsafe.
There are a few reasons why concrete might crumble. Like most concrete issues, crumbling can be the effect of water damage. It can also be caused by poorly mixed concrete, or concrete that cured too quickly. Regardless of the issue, you can fix it with Quikrete Polymer Modified Structural Repair.
Start preparing the repair area by chipping away old, crumbly, unsound concrete with a masonry chisel and hammer. Be sure to clean the loose dirt and dust from the repair area and rinse it with clean water.
Simply mix the repair material with water, and mix for three to five minutes to create a lump-free putty consistency. Its polymer resin formula improves the strength of the bond to the repair area.
If the repair surface dried while mixing, dampen it again, but remove any standing water. Then, using a trowel, build the repair up in layers, applying several thinner layers until the repair is above the surrounding concrete. Sculpt the repair to the proper shape as you go, as Polymer Modified Structural Repair is designed to repair vertical surfaces without slumping.
After five to 10 minutes, you can use the edge of the trowel to shave and sculpt the repair to match the rest of the steps.
For more information about how to use Quikrete Polymer Modified Structural Repair for this job, check out this video.
Leaning Fence Posts Are Stealing Your Cozy Vibe
Nothing frames a house and well-manicured yard quite as well as a storybook-style fence. From pickets to post-and-rail, they add charm and character. But, if your fence posts are leaning or rotting, they can have the opposite effect, making even the most pleasing home look like it’s in a state of disrepair.
There are a few reasons why fence posts might start leaning. For one, they might not be far enough in the ground. When a fence post isn’t deep enough, the wind can wiggle the fence back and forth. The frost in the colder months might even heave the posts upward, causing a leaning fence. Also, moisture, rot, and just plain time can be to blame.
Fixing leaning fence posts the right way is work, but it’s the only way to ensure your fence will last as long as possible. Start by removing the old fence panels and pulling the old posts out of the ground. This might require a bit of digging and prying, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of friends. If the posts are free from rot, excessive splitting, or splintering, you can reuse them.
To install the new posts (or the old posts again), start by marking the holes according to the length of your fence panels. Using a post hole digger or shovel, dig a hole that is three times as wide as the width of the post, and ⅓ to ½ as deep as the length of the post. So, for a 4×4 post intended for a 6-foot fence, dig a hole that is 12-inches wide and at least 2-feet deep. If you’re able, dig an additional 6 inches for a bed of Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel that will allow the hole to drain.
The next step is placing your post into the hole and using a level to ensure that it’s plumb. Use two pieces of scrap wood jammed into the ground and then tacked to the post to hold it in place. Next, pour Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete into the hole, up to about 4 inches from the ground surface. Since this concrete product is does not require mixing, you can pour the dry mix into the hole and apply about 1 gallon of water on top. Quikerete Fast-Setting Concrete will set in 20 to 40 minutes, but allow four hours before removing the supports and installing the fence panels.
Check out this video for more information about setting posts with Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete.
This content has been brought to you by Quikrete. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.