Like any other part of your property, your driveway is an extension of your home. You wouldn’t let your lawn grow out of control or let your house fall into disrepair. So, why should your driveway be any different?
Cracks in your concrete driveway can be unsightly and, if left untreated, can lead to further fracturing. Moisture can get into smaller cracks and cause them to expand, creating a problem that can spiral into an expensive repair. A full concrete driveway replacement costs an average of nearly $7400.
With a few tools and a little knowledge, you can take care of the cracks yourself. Here’s our guide to easy concrete driveway repair.
What You’ll Need
Here’s the bare minimum of what you’ll need to get started patching up your driveway:
- Wire brush
- Concrete patch filler
- Concrete sealer
- Hand trowel
- Canned air
- Vacuum cleaner
- Safety goggles
How to Do Your Concrete Driveway Repair
Step 1: Prep Your Workspace
Before you start repairing the cracks, you’ll need to make sure your workspace is clear of anything that could inhibit the bonding process. Put on your safety goggles before starting any work. If there’s any oil or dirt on the concrete, spray it down with a degreasing cleaner. This will remove any potential barriers between the filler and the cement.
Step 2: Chisel out the Crack
Use your hammer and chisel to clear out any chunks of concrete that might be lodged in the crack. You might need to widen the crack slightly to make sure it’s clear of larger pieces. This process is called “keying” the hole and ensures that the base of the crack is equal to the surface in width for maximum stability.
Step 3: Clean It Up
Use your wire brush to free up and sweep out any dirt or dust. With your canned air (or an air compressor, if you have one), blow out the debris left behind by the brush. Run the vacuum cleaner hose along the crack to make sure nothing is left behind. Repeat until you’re sure the area is completely clear.
Step 4: Fill the Crack
Depending on the size and nature of the crack, you should be able to use a patch for your concrete driveway repair. Check the directions for your patching material. The concrete may need to be dampened before application. Some fillers and grouts require it, but caulking does not.
- Cut the tip off the nozzle to a size that will fit in the crack. Carefully squeeze the filler along the crack, making sure to reach all the way to the bottom. Use the trowel to pat it down and smooth the edges.
- Let the filler set for about ten minutes, and check to see if it needs more patching material.
- Check the manufacturer’s directions to see how long it will need to cure. Overnight is optimal.
Step 5: Apply Sealer
A water-based polyurethane sealer can go a long way in preventing future water damage and preserving the integrity of your patch. For best results, apply several coats of sealant.
Option 2: Call a Concrete Professional
If your driveway has excessive cracks or you can’t complete the job in a timely manner, consider saving yourself the time and effort, and call a professional to do the job for you. Fixing the cracks in your concrete driveway doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Contact us to see how we can help with your driveway repair needs.