Your concrete driveway, like everything else in your home, will require maintenance at some point. Despite the fact that concrete is a strong and long-lasting material for driveways. Because it is made up of cement, aggregate, sand, and water, it is prone to cracking over time.
To repair cracks in a concrete driveway begin by lightly wetting the crack if you're using pourable grout. Textured caulk works best when used on a dry crack. If the cracks are wider than a ½ inch, you can undercut them to make them wider below the surface than they are above.
Excessive heat, standing water, freezing water, the contraction and expansion of aggregate or sand, tree roots, overloading, ground shifting, and certain types of bacteria can all damage concrete. The tensile strength of concrete is low. When any of the aforementioned situations occur, concrete cracks that need to be repaired are common.
Concrete Driveway Crack Repair
Fortunately, repairing cracks in concrete driveways is both simple and inexpensive. If you have the ability to do the repair yourself, you can turn it into your own DIY concrete repair project.
If cracks appear in your concrete driveway, you should repair them as soon as possible. The main reason you should repair the cracks is to keep moisture out and prevent further damage. However, one of the most important reasons to repair concrete driveway cracks is to maintain the driveway's attractive appearance. If your home has a front-facing drive, keeping your driveway in good condition can significantly improve the curb appeal of your home.
Before deciding how to repair the cracks, scope the area and get a sense of what caused them. Consider how you can eliminate the source of the problem so you don't have to repair driveway concrete cracks on a regular basis.
The extent to which you can prevent further damage will determine the success of your repair job. The best way to repair concrete cracks in your driveway will be determined by the size of the cracks.
Method 1: Resurfacing
Previously, your cracked, worn-out concrete slab was completely replaced. The old driveway was completely demolished, and the concrete was removed. When it came to repairing concrete driveways, it seemed like the only option was to level and start over. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. All of that has changed now. There are cement mixes based on polymers and acrylics that can be used to resurface an old concrete driveway. We now have a simple DIY fix that you can do on your own.
Simply combine the repair product with polymers, cement, and water and apply it with a broom or a squeegee to the concrete driveway. The product hardens quickly. You can now have a brand-new concrete driveway in just 30 minutes.
Method 2: Patching
You do not have to resurface the entire driveway to repair cracks in concrete driveways. Concrete cracks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from hairline cracks to larger ones. However, regardless of the size of the crack, there are some simple steps you should take before attempting to repair cracks in concrete.
Pre-Clean the Surface
- Clean the concrete crack thoroughly to ensure that the repair material adheres to the old surface properly. For large areas, a pressure washer can be used.
- To remove the loose concrete pieces, use a chisel, a screwdriver, or any other appropriate tool. Take care not to enlarge the concrete cracks any further.
- Remove the remaining debris with a wire brush.
- Remove as much loose debris as possible from inside the crack. It is best to use an air compressor, but if you don't have one, you can use canned air or a shop vac, which is commonly used to clean computer keyboards.
After you've prepared the concrete crack for repair, proceed with the steps outlined below, based on the size of the concrete crack.
How to Fill Small Hairline Cracks
When it comes to repairing driveway cracks, you can use a concrete driveway sealer, textured caulk, or pourable grout. These are the most effective products for repairing small hairline cracks in cracked concrete driveways. If you're using pourable grout, start by lightly wetting the crack.
When used on a dry crack, textured caulk works best. Fill the crack completely and push the sealer or grout into the concrete crack with a pointed trowel. If you're using textured caulk, make sure there's enough overfill to compensate for the caulk drying.
You can also use your thumb to make sure the crack is completely filled. However, if you use this concrete crack filler method, make sure to wear thick rubber gloves. For the best results, follow the manufacturer's application instructions.
How to Fill Larger Cracks
- If the concrete cracks are wider than ½ inches, you can undercut the crack to make it wider below the surface than it is at the surface. This ensures that the patching material will not be expelled as a result of the concrete's expansion and contraction.
- If you are using pourable grout for concrete crack repair, it is recommended that you use only ¼ inch of grout for each application. Allow time for each layer of ¼-inch grout to dry before proceeding. However, you must slightly wet the driveway cracks before filling them with grout. Make sure the layers are no thicker than ¼inch. Alternatively, you could fill the concrete cracks with sand and leave ¼ inch of space at the surface to fill with grout. It is best to overfill the crack to compensate for shrinkage that will occur as the grout dries.
- If you intend to use vinyl material to repair cracks in your concrete driveway, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and mix only the amount you will be able to use in the specified time, which should be less than 20 minutes. Using a hose or a spray bottle, wet the driveway cracks. Spread vinyl patching material into the crack with a pointed trowel. Make sure not to fill the crack with more than ¼-inch-thick layers. Applying the vinyl material in layers allows you to distribute it more evenly on the cracked driveway. As a result of the shrinking of the vinyl patching material as it dries, the driveway will be less prone to cracking. Once the first layer has dried sufficiently, apply the next layer (once every couple of hours) until the crack is completely filled.
- If you're going to use textured caulk to fill driveway cracks, make sure it's on a dry surface. If the crack is deeper than 3/8-inch, fill it with foam backer board or sand before applying the caulk. Cut the applicator tip to the size of the crack, no larger than ¼ inch. Fill the crack completely with caulk and add some overfill to compensate for shrinkage after it dries.
Finishing The Process
As you finish the applications, use a pointed trowel to blend the patch material with the surrounding concrete to ensure that the crack is completely sealed. After you've finished filling the crack, use a small broom, brush, or block of wood to rub across the patch to match the patch surface consistency with the original concrete surface.
Letting it Cure
Allow the concrete patching to dry and cure completely before parking your car on the driveway. Pourable concrete is typically easier to work with than polymer coatings because you are resurfacing a smaller area rather than an entire driveway. Polymer coatings also dry more slowly, requiring more time to repair cracks.
If you used sand to repair cracks in your concrete driveway, make sure to sweep or wash away the excess sand after the curing process is finished.
Now that you know how to repair cracks in a concrete driveway, you can see why the task is simple enough for you to complete on your own. Whether your concrete driveway requires minor repairs or a complete overhaul, there are numerous products on the market that can make the job much easier for you. If cracks continue to appear in the concrete despite your efforts, you may need to call in professionals to solve the problem and rule out any larger issues.