Introduction While concrete driveways look nice when they are new, over time the concrete can chip, crack and crumble. Cracks and potholes form due to the freezing and thawing of water that has seeped under the driveway through smaller cracks, weed or grass growth in small cracks, and general wear and tear. Regular maintenance will prevent the need to replace the existing driveway. This is usually easy to do and requires up to a half day to complete depending on the condition and size of your repairs.
Skill Level & Time
Time depends on the size and condition of your driveway. Simple repairs on a small driveway:
• Beginner - about an hour
• Intermediate - 45 minutes
• Advanced - 30 minutes
Cautions Make sure to always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when breaking cement.
Common Mistakes Do not try to feather the edges when patching with cement. When dry, the feathered area will crack and flake off.
Helpful Tips Use a plastic sheet to cover newly repaired concrete for a few days. This will help keep it moist and allow it to cure slowly.
Clean the crack by removing all loose dirt and chunks of concrete with an awl or hook. If there are larger chunks of concrete you can use a mallet and chisel to loosen them. (Make sure to wear eye protection.)
Use a broom or a stiff brush to remove small pieces of concrete and dirt.
Then using the spray attachment on your garden hose, spray the crack with water to remove any remaining debris. It is important to clean the crack well so that the patching material will adhere to it.
If there is oil in the crack, use detergent to scrub it out then rinse well.
Allow all surfaces to dry before continuing with the patching process.
Cracks that are less than ¼" are generally filled with sealants that come in a caulk gun tube. If you are using filler from a caulk container or tube, squeeze the filler into the crack until it begins to overflow, then smooth it out using a metal or plastic scraper. It may be necessary to repeat this process to ensure that you are filling the crack completely.
Cracks that are between ¼" and ½" are generally filled with premixed mortar or sealants that comes in a can or plastic jug. Shake or stir the product well before using. `According to the directions on the product, squeeze the filler into the crack until it begins to overflow, then smooth it out using a metal or plastic scraper. It may be necessary to repeat this process to ensure that you are filling the crack completely.
Cracks that are larger than 1/2" must be filled with premixed concrete which comes in bags of 60 lbs or 90 lbs. Mix your material as the manufacturer recommends, and pour this material into the crack.
Let the mortar set for about an hour before using a trowel to remove any excess.
Curing the Repairs.
Allow the repaired area to dry completely, which may take several days. Make sure to keep it moist by lightly misting the area using a garden hose and keeping it covered with a plastic sheet. A slow cure will result in stronger concrete. When the concrete has cured, apply a water seal with either a roller or a sprayer.