Minor damage to your concrete driveway should be repaired quickly to avoid major problems in the future. Cracks in your driveway provide access for water that can freeze and expand the cracks. Freeze/thaw damage can lead to costly repairs or even the complete replacement of your driveway.
Clean The Area Thoroughly
Remove all loose debris, including dirt, sand and chunks of concrete. Use a broom or hand brush to sweep the area down. Hose off the crack using a jet-type spray attachment. If the crack is grease or oil stained, clean the area with detergent and rinse thoroughly. Allow the cracked area to dry completely before proceeding.
Hairline Cracks (Quarter Inch or Less)
After cleaning, fill the crack with a concrete sealer. Concrete sealer is available at most home centers and comes in a tube similar to caulk. Once you’ve applied the concrete sealer, smooth it out with a scraper. Allow the concrete sealer to dry and inspect the crack. If the sealer has shrunk or not completely filled the crack, reapply and smooth as needed.
Larger Cracks (Quarter Inch to Half an Inch)
Slightly larger cracks will require the use of pre-mixed mortar or a grout made of water and Portland cement (only add enough water to create a thick paste). Apply the mortar or grout to the cleaned crack and smooth it with a scraper. After it’s dried, apply another coat if shrinking occurs.
Large Cracks or Holes (Greater Than Half an Inch)
Cracks larger than half an inch should be undercut using a hammer and chisel. Undercutting means to make the bottom of the crack wider than the top. Undercutting will add to the strength of the repair. Be sure to wear gloves and safety goggles when undercutting the crack.
After undercutting the crack, clean is thoroughly. Apply premixed concrete to the crack, using the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the concrete to set for one hour before smoothing with a trowel. Drape a wet cloth over the concrete patch and keep it damp for 2 or 3 days to allow the concrete to cure completely.
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