It’s not our fault. Humans are wired to improve things – we constantly try to “build a better mousetrap”.
Being no exception to this rule, I’ve set out to find the perfect termite drill hole patch.
For years, I’ve critiqued patch work, but only recently have I stepped away from the standard vinyl patch approach in search of something better.
What’s wrong with the old method?
The standard vinyl concrete is durable, it levels just fine, but it has a gray hue. Most patios, sidewalks, and porches have more of a light tan color. Sure there are ways to blend the vinyl patch with extraction dust, but the color is rarely perfect.
Thus my quest for the perfect match began.
This method is my own invention:
The “Combo Patch”
- Durable (freezing & excessive heat not a factor)
- Good color matching in a very short timespan
- Ages similar to surrounding concrete
- When wet, does not darken like surrounding concrete
- Small margin for error when filling holes
- Difficult to clean surfaces when smeared/overfilled
Step 1 – Apply concrete filler into the holes
There are a few termite control companies that use crack filler to patch the drill holes. The most widely found crack fillers are dark gray, but I’ve found a few products (Like DAP’s self-leveling 2.0 concrete patch) that match perfectly with the sandy color of our Southern-poured patios and porches.
Although the color is a perfect match, the crack filler is silicon based. The patch has a smooth finish that either:
- Accumulates too much dirt/debris in high traffic areas or
- Fails to develop the age spots of the surrounding concrete
To combat this issue, I simply:
Step 2 – Cover the concrete filler with sand.
The crack filler will dry, with a thin layer of sand embedded on top of the patch.
In theory, this layer of sand will give the patch the “grit” necessary to repel the smudgy dirt caused from foot traffic, but have the texture to develop the same rust/age spots that is typically seen with aging outdoor concrete.
After one year, the patches look like this:
(Performed 7/30/13) This was my first attempt. Although it looks fine from a distance, I’m not pleased with this patch work. A few holes will be re-patched in the very near future.
Unfortunately, this method is not fool-proof. If the filler is smeared, the area surrounding the holes develops a lighter color than the rest of the concrete – as seen in some of the photos.
The solution is to ensure the holes are filled slightly less than flush.
I see promise, mostly from a color standpoint, but this is a technique than can easily go wrong.
Realistically, I don’t think this is a method I would feel comfortable delegating to an inexperienced termite tech.
Stay tuned. We’ll revisit these next year!