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Weather, wear and tear, can progressively loosen anchor bolts in concrete stairs or porches over time. That’s why every homeowner should know how to fix a loose concrete anchor as needed.
In a nutshell, this task involves resetting concrete bolts with a high-strength system and filling gaps between concrete and metal. There are also other things to know when fixing loose anchor bolts. Read on to learn more.
Determine the Reason before Choosing a Solution
It is critical to find out why something occurred to choose the correct solution. When it comes to concrete anchors, they can loosen for different reasons. Here are the three most common reasons and appropriate solutions:
- If the anchor has lost its bond to the foundation, you will need to repair or replace the sleeve as well as the anchor bolt.
- Maybe the concrete anchor is loose because of exposure to moisture. If so, you will need to fix the anchor bolt and reseal its sleeve properly.
- In case poor workmanship is the reason for the loose concrete anchor, there isn’t much that can be done except to replace the anchor and sleeve.
- If the loose concrete anchor is a sign of a change in structural support or critical support points, contact a professional to get this issue fixed.
How to Fix a Loose Concrete Anchor in 4 Steps
Once you have determined the reason why a concrete anchor is loose and that it’s something you can fix, let’s dive in!
Step 1: Remove the Concrete Anchor from Its Support Post
If a support post comes loose, you will have to remove the bolt. Be sure to clean loose concrete and dust from both the hole and the anchor bolt. Use a bolt breaker tool to remove concrete anchors easily without heat.
Keep in mind that the removal process will depend on the design type of the anchor bolts. Also, remember that there are male and female concrete anchors. Here, you can discover how to remove male wedge anchors.
Wedge anchors come with expanding sleeves that are connected to one of its ends. These anchors are suited for solid concrete. You can use them to secure everything from a pallet rack to ductwork and light post.
To remove a male wedge anchor from concrete, you may use any of these 3 methods:
1. Cut off the anchor bolt with a grinding wheel or hacksaw. The cut should be created a few millimeters above the concrete surface. Then take a hammer and pound the remaining part flat.
2. If the hole underneath the bolt is sufficiently deep, you can simply remove the anchor by pounding it in the concrete. So, you need to have a hammer at hand to get it done.
3. You are advised to buy a bolt breaker if you need to remove a lot of anchor bolts. This job involves placing a bolt breaker over the rods that protrude from the concrete and rocking back and forth. You should rotate till the rods break off.
Step 2: Make Anchor-Fastening Mixture
1. In a disposable container, combine equal amounts of hardener and resin.
2. Then mix until the compound becomes homogeneous. It takes around one minute.
3. To get a certain tint of color, mix with sand or cement if necessary.
Step 3: Insert the Concrete Anchor and Fill the Hole
1. Put the concrete anchors in the pre-drilled holes. Pick the epoxy that works best for your repair or project.
2. Each hole should be filled with epoxy resin. You need to mix adhesive beforehand
Tip: While the epoxy patch hardens completely, which takes about 24 hours, the anchor bolts need to be undisturbed and straight.
Step 4: Re-attach Railings to Concrete Anchors
Lastly, you will need to attach railings to concrete again. For this task, you will need a hack saw, tape measure, hammer, hammer drill, sharpie marker, and extension cord. Additionally, you’ll need a railing kit.
1. Clean the area and take measures to know the dimensions of railings.
2. Test the railings by holding them in the desired locations. Before you drill any hole, ensure that the railings fit properly.
3. Mark the spots where the anchor bolts need to go using a sharpie marker and drill holes into the concrete with a hammer drill.
4. Attach bolt anchors to concrete with a hammer.
5. Add the flange to anchors and tighten bolts with a wrench.
6. Connect railings to the base of flanges. Use appropriate hardware to tighten them.
5 Tips on How to Install and Use Anchor Bolts
1. Whether you work with brick, concrete, wood, or another material, anchor bolts are a useful part of your arsenal. Here are a few things to consider when installing and using anchor bolts.
2. The design of concrete anchors varies depending on the manufacturer. So reading the instructions is necessary before using an anchor bolt. This will shed some light on the depth of the holes to be drilled, the drill-bit size required, and so on.
3. Set the depth gauge as per the manufacturer’s recommendation before inserting the masonry drill bit. Remove any dirt and debris when drilling holes in concrete. By removing concrete dust, you will make sure the bolts fit well.
4. When screwing the washers to the bolt heads, ensure that they lie on the same plane with the top of the anchors. Many manufacturers recommend hammering the nuts when inserting the bolts into pre-drilled holes. This can make sure the concrete anchors reach the bottom.
5. On each anchor bolt, you should tighten the nut using a spanner or wrench. Avoid adding a lot of torque because it can decrease the holding capacity of concrete anchors.
To make the anchor bolt ready for use, you should first remove the nut and washer. Yet, this will depend on the type of anchor bolt you use.
4 Most Common Types of Concrete Anchors
The broad selection of anchor bolt designs indicates a diverse range of fasteners. Listed below are the most popular design types of concrete anchors along with their applications.
Wedge anchor bolts
These anchors are very popular thanks to their rust resistance, strength, simple insertion. They go into pre-drilled holes to the wedge width.
This type of fastener is suitable for lightweight fixtures like electrical boxes and shelf brackets. However, strike bolts are also capable of fastening steel and aluminum ties to brick and concrete alike. You will need a hammer to set these anchors.
Sleeve anchor bolts
The sleeve anchors come with external casings that flare at the base. This way the bolts are secured snugly into the brick or concrete. Once you’ve tightened the anchor bolt, it will open the sleeve casing that will flare out slightly more than 3 mm.
Lag shield anchors
You will need a torque wrench to tighten this type of anchor. The lag shields are designed to open into a two-sided wedge and enclose the bolts. They are great for holds that are subject to vibration.
FAQs About How to Fix a Loose Concrete Anchor
How to Secure Concrete Anchors?
Concrete anchors have unthreaded pins that are placed in metal sleeves. To secure anchors, you need to drill holes in concrete and tap them into these openings with a hammer while holding the fixture. The sleeves expand outward and thus trap the anchors in the holes while you’re driving in the pins.
Can I Drill Out Concrete Anchors?
You should remove the anchor heads first. Then use a high-speed bit to drill out the anchor body. Remember that you will damage the concrete when removing the anchor.
Can the Concrete Anchor Holes Be Reused?
As you can see on the manufacturers’ websites, they don’t recommend reusing the fasteners. This doesn’t mean the anchor holes cannot be reused.
How Deep Should Concrete Anchors Be?
A good rule of thumb is to drill holes in concrete so that they are about 0.25 inches deeper than the anchor bolts are going to penetrate. This extra depth makes sure the anchors don’t bottom out. Besides, it allows space for dust and other particles that occur during the drilling process.
We hope you enjoyed our article about how to fix a loose concrete anchor. With this knowledge, you should easily determine the right solution for loose anchors. However, you must first determine why the concrete anchor is loose before replacing it or contacting a professional.
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