Concrete Driveway Repair

Concrete Driveway Repair
Concrete driveways tend to develop cracks due to rough usage and various other reasons. Repairing the cracks on your own is a simple task. This article takes you through the steps for repair.
Most driveways are made of either concrete or asphalt. These days, concrete has become more popular due to the various decorative options it provides, making your driveway look beautiful without burning a hole in your pocket. The quality of materials used along with the workmanship will determine how long your driveway stays in good shape.

The concrete used to build your driveway is made of four basic ingredients: gravel, cement, sand, and water. Sand and gravel are held together tightly by the cement. This happens because there is a chemical reaction that takes place when water is added to the cement powder, which results in the formation of small crystals. These crystals then form a mesh which holds all the irregular sand and gravel particles together. Thus, the more crystals formed, the stronger the bond becomes, and your driveway will last longer.

When cracks develop in the concrete, it calls for a repair job. Cracks in the driveway are caused because of very cold temperatures, the growth of the roots of trees, or the movement of the soil. Instead of spending a lot of money and getting a new one, you can easily repairs those cracks.

Materials Required
  • Cleaning solution
  • Trowel
  • Bucket with 5 gallon capacity
  • Hose
  • Mixing paddle
  • Concrete resurfacing mix
  • Extended handle
  • Water
  • Cordless drill
  • Pressure washer
  • Float
  • Broom
  • Rubber squeegee with a long handle
Instructions

Step 1
Using a power washer, clean the whole driveway thoroughly. In the reservoir of the power washer, add a masonry cleaning solution to the water. Ensure that you pay extra attention to places where the cracks are formed and remove all accumulated dirt from these areas. If the dirt is not removed from the cracks, there are chances the sealant may not stick well and hold the crack.

Step 2
Look at the cracks and estimate how much concrete mix you will need to fill them. Accordingly, fill water in the bucket and add to it the cement resurfacer mix. As it doesn't take a long time to prepare the cement mix, you can make more later if required. Keep mixing these ingredients in the bucket using a cordless drill with a mixing paddle attached until it gets thick and feels like pudding.

Step 3
Fill all cracks with the mixture you just prepared, and then use a trowel to push the mixture into the cracks. After the cracks are filled, drag a float over it so that the surface becomes smooth. Leave the cracks to dry for about 14 to 16 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 4
On the next day, prepare a water and concrete resurfacing mix mixture in the bucket, but this time, thin it down by adding more water and less resurfacing mix. Spray water on the entire driveway with a hose. Pour the mixture you just prepared on the driveway, and use a rubber squeegee to spread it evenly. Ensure that the entire surface is covered with the mixture.

Step 5
To give the surface a textured look, sweep it with a broom. This will also make your driveway less slippery for the time that it is wet. Attach an external handle to the broom handle so that you can reach far away places. Leave it to dry for 6 to 8 hours, after which you can walk on it. Drive your car only after 24 hours have passed.

If you do it yourself, the cost of repair should be less as you would be spending only on the materials required to repair the cracks. However, if you wish to get it done professionally, then the cost could be anywhere between USD 2-6 per square foot, depending on the extent of the damage and the overall area. If repaired properly, your driveway should last for 8 to 12 years without any problems.