While cracks on concrete surfaces aren't pretty, they're very common. Cracks still occur despite concrete being durable and an excellent choice for driveways, patios, walkways, etc. Luckily, repairing cracks isn't too tricky, and you can treat it as a DIY project.
This guide will explore why structural damage like cracks happens to concrete and how to repair them. Implementing the correct concrete driveway installation can also prevent cracks from occurring.
Concrete is a cost-effective solution for many businesses and homeowners. However, concrete isn't without its flaws, and cracks can happen for various reasons, including the following:
Most concrete cracks start small and then progressively become bigger. These tiny cracks don't present many problems initially, but it's better to repair them before the situation escalates.
Another fact to remember is that contractors typically cut joints every eight to ten feet. This process minimizes shrinkage during your concrete's curing stage.
Cracking around a control joint is very common. However, if cracks grow, you may need tools like a caulking gun or a coat of joint compound.
Before jumping in and exploring the different methods for repairing cracks in concrete, let's explore your initial preparations.
For starters, it's better to wait until the weather is dry and your concrete's temperature sits around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, you'll want all the necessary safety tools, including:
Crazing refers to when your concrete driveway ends up drying out too fast. Crazing appears as tiny surface-level cracks, typically shortly after you pour concrete.
While these thin layers usually don't indicate structural damage, they present cosmetic issues. For example, a driveway with crazing can lower your home's curb appeal.
You'll first need to determine if your driveway is still in good shape. Then, applying a concrete resurfacing product can repair it if it's primarily smooth.
The resurfacing product uses a thin layer spread over your concrete cracks. The entire process takes three main steps:
Your first step in repairing cracks under 1/4-inch wide is to look for a flexible formula that'll mold into your driveway when it fills the crack. Otherwise, you risk buying an ineffective formula that'll pull away when your driveway freezes and thaws out.
Many concrete fillers, sometimes called masonry fillers, can easily handle cracks up to 1/4-inches wide. Once you have your flexible concrete filler, implement the following steps:
Whether fixing your concrete's crazing or applying a filler, these tips can make the process easier:
It's possible to fill cracks that are 1/4-inches wide or less using tools you buy from the store. However, dealing with a deep crack is another story and generally requires a professional.
Even if you do manage to fill these deep cracks, the fix may only last temporarily. When you have significant and jagged cracks, this problem generally indicates severe structural damage. These types of cracks are most common in older driveways.
Trying to repair these cracks yourself can waste time and money. Additionally, you could end up making the problem worse, resulting in needing further repairs.
A professional team can inspect your driveway and recommend the best solution. Their solutions might include concrete lifting or replacing your driveway altogether.
Concrete driveways are cost-effective and durable solutions. However, sometimes cracking can happen, presenting safety hazards while reducing your property's curb appeal.
Expertly fixing your concrete driveway requires a call to Erickson Asphalt. Our experienced and qualified contractors have been repairing cracks and asphalt driveways for many years.
Call Erickson Asphalt today at (763) 389-5267 to start the process!