How To Repair Concrete Driveway Cracks
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Published by TOP4 Team
Cracks normally appear on concrete, especially in driveways. Exposure to the harshest of weather conditions and heavy vehicular and foot traffic are part of the wear and tear of a driveway. Even if the materials used for the driveway construction are all top quality, cracks are bound to appear sooner or later, especially on concrete.
Since most driveways are essential parts of the home's facade, it is therefore essential to repair cracks right away before water begin to seep in and make the damages worse. Plus, taking care of the cracks increases the value of your home.
Luckily, concrete cracks are fairly easy to repair, provided that you are equipped with the right materials and tools. Here is a step-by-step guide on repairing cracks on concrete driveways.
Before even beginning to repair the driveway, inspect all the cracks and investigate what could be the possible causes. Cracks can be cause by a lot of factors including tree roots, overloading or impact damage.
The most common cause of cracks is water. If a puddle forms on the surface, water eventually seep in the concrete and make the material contract or expand, depending on the weather.
After inspecting the cracks, try to eliminate the cause. If the problem is a growing tree root, try to dig out and cut the tree root. If the problem is standing water, solve it by fixing the drainage. Whatever the cause is, preventing further damage is always the best solution to this kind of problem.
Regardless of the size of the crack, the first step is cleaning it. Remove any loose dirt inside the crack, including chipped concrete, soil, dirt, etc. Using a steel brush, brush away all the debris in and around the crack. If you have a canned air, or an air compressor, blow away the inside of the crack to remove the tiny particles unseen by the naked eye.
4. Small cracks
For thin, hairline cracks, it is best to use either pourable grout, textured caulk, or concrete sealer.
If you are using pourable grout or concrete sealer, wet the crack first using a water spray bottle. After spraying it with water, pour the material into the crack and push using a pointing trowel.
If you are using textured caulk, don't wet the crack as caulk works best when dry. Put a little extra because caulk shrinks when dried.
5. Big cracks
For cracks measuring more than 1/2 of an inch, expand the area under the crack so the poured sealing material would not be squeezed out when the concrete contracts or expands.
Pour the concrete pourable grout inside the crack but only by layer but no more than 1/4 of an inch thick. Alternate the filling with sand or gravel then put a fresh layer of grout, again no more than 1/4 inch thick, and so on and so forth. Repeat the process until the crack is filled. Put some extra to account for shrinkage when the seal dries.
6. Finishing up
When the crack is filled, get a broom and sweep the crack and the area surrounding it. The purpose of this procedure is to make the repaired spot mimic the color of the surrounding concrete by evening out the layer of dust on the surface.