How to Repair Large Cracks in Concrete Driveway: A Step-by-Step Guide
Concrete driveways are a popular choice for homeowners due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, over time, they can develop cracks, especially large ones, due to various factors like freeze-thaw cycles and the use of deicing salts. While small cracks might be a mere eyesore, larger cracks can compromise the structural integrity of the driveway and allow water to seep underneath, leading to further damage. Fortunately, repairing these large cracks is a feasible DIY project. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you restore your driveway to its former glory.
Step-by-Step Guide to Repairing Large Cracks
- Assess the Damage: Before starting the repair, ensure that the crack is suitable for resurfacing. If it’s less than a quarter-inch wide, it’s ideal for this method.
- Clean the Crack: Use a screwdriver to scratch away any loose debris within the crack. Follow up with a wire brush to scrub the area thoroughly. Clear away the debris using a whisk broom or a leaf blower.
- Prepare the Driveway: Wet the entire driveway using a pressure washer. Add Quikrete Etcher, Cleaner, and Degreaser to the machine’s reservoir and spray it evenly across the surface. Switch to a high-pressure nozzle and wash the surface thoroughly to ensure it’s free of dirt and grease.
- Mix the Resurfacer: In a 5-gallon bucket, combine Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer with water. Use a mixing paddle attached to a ½-inch drill to prepare the patching material. Aim for a thick consistency that’s easy to spread.
- Fill the Crack: Pour the resurfacer mixture into the crack. Use a flat-edged trowel to push the material deep into the crack and smooth out the surface. This ensures the resurfacer bonds well with the existing concrete.
- Apply a Thin Coat: Allow the filled material to dry overnight. The next day, prepare a thinner batch of the resurfacer. Before applying, wet the concrete slightly to prevent it from drying out too quickly. Spread this thinner mixture over the entire driveway using a rubber squeegee, ensuring an even coat without any lap marks.
- Texture the Surface: As the resurfacer begins to set, use a broom with an extended handle to create a textured finish on the fresh concrete surface. This “broom finish” prevents the driveway from becoming slippery when wet.
- Allow to Cure: The resurfaced area can handle foot traffic after about six hours. However, you should wait at least 24 hours before allowing cars to drive over it.
Materials and Tools You’ll Need:
- Wire brush
- Whisk broom or leaf blower
- Pressure washer
- Quikrete Etcher, Cleaner, and Degreaser
- Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer
- 5-gallon bucket
- Mixing paddle
- ½-inch drill
- Flat-edged trowel
- Rubber squeegee
- Broom with an extended handle
Maintenance Tips for a Longer-Lasting Driveway
Once you’ve successfully repaired the cracks in your concrete driveway, it’s essential to adopt preventive measures to minimize future damage. Regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your driveway and keep it looking pristine. Start by sealing the concrete every two to three years to protect it from water penetration, which can lead to cracks.
Avoid using deicing chemicals during winter, as they can erode the concrete surface. Instead, opt for sand for traction. Additionally, clean any oil or gasoline spills immediately to prevent staining and degradation. By being proactive in your driveway’s care, you not only enhance its appearance but also ensure its durability, making it a lasting investment for your home.
And There You Go
Repairing large cracks in your concrete driveway doesn’t require professional intervention. With the right materials and a bit of patience, you can restore your driveway’s appearance and functionality. Not only does this DIY project save you money, but it also extends the lifespan of your driveway, ensuring it serves you well for years to come. Our company is FDZ Concrete located in Lubbock, Texas and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free quote if you’re a local.