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Can I "crown" a broken interlock step using cement?

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[OP]
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Jan 31, 2007
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Markham

Can I "crown" a broken interlock step using cement?

Winters always damage my large, old, imitation stone/brick steps. One time, I was able to get someone to cut out an old one because it was on a corner (and the massive saw blade wouldn't damage adjacent bricks), so I was able to replace it, but my damaged one now is in a place where it cannot be removed. It has some minor-medium EDGE DAMAGE and I'm thinking that the simplest thing to do (until I get the chance to replace the whole thing in a few years) is to just "cap" it like a tooth.

Can I use grey cement to repair an interlock step edge and spread it across the (grey) step for security? If so, what should I be buying for repair? I've seen a 30kg bag of concrete mix for $3.97...or should I be getting something else?
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
Could you post a photo of it?

I think you should be able to. You won't be able to do it with the general concrete mixes because their min thicknesses are too high. Look for a concrete repair mix - you should be able to patch it up with those. Fast setting. You can get them in small pails, something like 5lbs each. Min thickness for those might be 1/8 or less. Don't need bonding agents for those either - I think they're already mixed in.

Don't remember where I got mine, but I'm sure HD/Lowes would have 'em.

bjl
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[OP]
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Thanks for the reply (I genuinely appreciate every reply to reno posts)! At the risk of sounding greedy, could you post a link to the pail you're talking about?
t3359 wrote: Could you post a photo of it?
Image
Image
EDIT: The damaged area is very "crumbly", so before I patch anything I'll have to use my shoe (or hammer) to crumble off some more pieces... In addition to the name of the product I'll need to use, I'm also wondering if I should use some type of rebar/mesh, so that it's a strong patch...
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Nov 2, 2005
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WFH
Are the stones held in place with mortar. If not you could maybe try flipping them over and see if the other side is in better shape.
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dirtmover wrote: Are the stones held in place with mortar. If not you could maybe try flipping them over and see if the other side is in better shape.
I think the stone adhesive is varied (previous owner must have had this same spring dance): Once I had a broken square and I was able to flip it easily and remove the adhesive with my fingers (you can see it in the first pic, the large whiter square left of the pile-on). I use landscape block (construction adhesive) to repair loose stones. Other times, though, the stones are COMPLETELY fused down (like the time I had to hire someone to remove a corner block, so I could replace it.
Jamie_Canuck wrote: That's it? A patch is going to look worse than the chip... imho... you will have trouble matching the colour...
I don't care about colour as much as safety. I'm not fixing it for aesthetics. If the pile-on gets blown away, it's possible the next person who steps there will take another inch off the edge and fall (I can see a crack and it's begging to crumble). If it ever becomes naturally loose, I can just replace it (as it used to be a standard block for 80s homes).

Maybe there's some type of metal "L" bracket that I can glue on it? I don't want to get fancy, though. If anyone can link me to the pail I should be buying, I'd be grateful.
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Aug 29, 2006
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My in-laws does these sort of repair themselves all the time with the product below with sideway settlement due to freeze thaw as well.

Very easy to use and comes in a pre-mixed can and as description said, good for stairs and sidewalk repairs. Plus, if generally non-handy seniors can get good results from it, I am sure anyone with a bit of patient should too.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/stone ... p.html#srp
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Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
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No, if you read the description the one in my link is for bigger repairs (stairs, sidewalk, walls) and your links is smaller repairs (filling holes and crack). Also the steel can will probably keep the mix fresher longer and available for future use than the plastic tube would.
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Apr 6, 2008
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What do you use is the winter to thaw the ice? Salt? If so then there's the source of your problem. If you're already using the blue "ice melter" stuff then carry on...
[OP]
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fusion2k2k wrote: What do you use is the winter to thaw the ice? Salt? If so then there's the source of your problem. If you're already using the blue "ice melter" stuff then carry on...
I use salt. I also have blue salt, but didn't get around to using it. The steps are under 2 steep roof inclines, giving them enormous snowfall and without railings, I try to protect the flyer people and avoid getting sued over falls. Please feel free to post a link to a product that you recommend.
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Do you have spare bricks? If so, can't you just sledgehammer that one out? Seems like those bricks are pretty brittle.
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ChubChub wrote: Do you have spare bricks? If so, can't you just sledgehammer that one out? Seems like those bricks are pretty brittle.
Some landscape places should still carry this size & style, since it used to be a standard, but I already went down that route and it was a HUGE pain, complete with a letter from Canada Post telling me that my mail service would be suspended. I guess postal workers don't realize that a pile-on doesn't mean that there's radiation. I was really upset with Canada Post because the offending brick was a corner piece w/ a pile-on (and it could be stepped on, it was just ugly), so it was PERFECTLY safe to just ignore and it would still be safe if the pile-on was stolen. According to the letter, the CP worker brought over his SUPERVISOR to examine the danger and send the letter.

So, the one time I tried removing one was a HUGE mistake because only the top came off with ease. The landscape place had a perfect match, but I had to hire someone to clean the area as it was completely fused down and couldn't break apart (he really struggled)! Before hiring someone, I had a friend's construction worker husband recommend chipping at it using a pry bar w/ hammer, but that was totally futile and just damaged his pry bar.

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