by Jacklyn Renz
One of the most seemingly invincible pieces of your property is your concrete driveway. After all, concrete is hard, durable, and can stand all types of weather, right? Almost right. Like all other things in your home, your concrete driveway needs a little TLC every once in a while, too. One of your first areas of defense to keep your driveway beautiful amidst your curb appeal is repairing any cracks as they happen.
According to the Concrete Network, concrete is a mixture of water, aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel) and cement. Even the most well-poured concrete driveway is subject to cracking from soil settling, tree roots, or overweight loads. As the concrete continues to expand and contract throughout the hot and cold seasons, these cracks have potential to grow and splinter off. Repairing the cracks right away will save you more work in the long run.
Begin by identifying all cracks that need to be repaired. Sidewalk chalk is a great option for marking the places that will be filled. Next comes the cleaning of the offending fissure. You may use a hard tool to scrape out larger pieces of debris. Brush out any old concrete crumbles and remove any plants that may have taken up residence. A pressure washer or hose may be used to spray out any leftovers. Be sure to clean the crack well to ensure that the new material used to fill the crack will properly bond with the existing driveway.
Next, prepare your filling. The options for what to fill it with vary, and many of the options depend on the size of the crack and the local area’s weather. Tougher weather conditions call for a sealant, caulking, or concretes that can stand the harshness. For smaller cracks, there are sealants and caulking that are easy-to-use, don’t require mixing, and boast quick curing times. Other options include the tried and true remedy of dry concrete mix. If the crack is large enough, it is recommended to obtain a concrete mix that contains gravel.
Finally, fill the crack. If using a sealant in a bottle resembling a caulking tube, then load your caulk gun and fill away. For the traditional concrete mix, pour the concrete evenly into the space using a tool such as a trowel, and make sure its compressed firmly. Then, use the trowel to scrape away any excess filling and smooth down the area. Now the wait begins. The concrete must be given ample time to cure, overnight at the very least, before anything is driven over the repair. To help maintain the repair and the rest of your concrete driveway, go ahead and apply a high quality water sealer to protect your hard work.
What may seem like a difficult project is rather simple when broken down. Simply use the above steps as a guideline, follow your chosen concrete filler’s instructions to a tee, and in less than 48 hours your once cracked driveway will be restored to its solid former self.
sources: doityourself.com, bhg.com, concretenetwork.com