• Repairing Cracks in a Concrete Driveway

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    Concrete cracks are the result of base metal settling, shrinkage, excessive weight and extreme weather conditions.
    Cracks outdoors will only get worse if neglected, especially if you live where freezing temperatures are common.
    Water penetrates the cracks, and when it freezes it expands with immense strength, the crack gets larger. Soon, you’re looking at replacing a section of concrete rather than just patching a crack so It makes sense to fill and seal cracks as soon as they appear, and when you do, you’ll extend the life of your concrete driveway.
    We include this it in our guide, home maintenance checklist for fall and winter because it is an important item to keep up with before it becomes a big problem.
    Repairing concrete cracks can be a DIY job with the proper tips, or you can call a concrete contractor to do the work. This guide will help you decide which the right option for you.

    Concrete Driveway Repair and Resources 

    The information in this repair guide is designed to give you an understanding of the work, so you’ll know if you want to tackle it yourself or call a pro.
    The cost of DIY concrete crack repair and the cost of hiring a contractor are given to help you make your decision. A brief tools and supply list is included too, and we complete this house repair guide with a few resources that provide additional help, including concrete crack repair step-by-step instructions.

    The best repair material for filling concrete cracks is a purpose flexible sealant.
    The flexibility of the material means that it will expand and shrink with temperature changes without coming loose.
    Here are the steps you need to take during the project, and all of them are something that a person with moderate home improvement skills can do.

    • Preparing the crack to be filled is just as important as the material you use to fill it. It is absolutely vital that the edges of the crack are clean and free of any loose chips
    • If the crack is less than ¼-inch, use a hammer and chisel to widen it to that width, so all the loose concrete is removed and a suitable v-shaped bed for the sealant is produced
    • Use a stiff wire brush to remove loose concrete, dirt and dust
    • Sweep or vacuum out the remaining dust, a water jet from a hose works well but of course, you must wait for the damaged concrete to dry before sealing the crack
    • Flexible acrylic concrete repair from brands like Quikrete are made for cracks up to ½-inch wide
    • Use a caulk gun and a tube of concrete sealant with the nozzle cut at an angle to create an opening the width of the crack
    • Now you should actually push the tip of the caulk tube along the crack which will in turn force the sealant down the crack to fill the void. You will know when that portion of the crack has been completely sealed when it overflows
    • Tool the caulk with a trowel or putty knife to make it level with the surrounding concrete
    • If there’s quite a bit of excess, it can be scraped off as long as you’re careful not to remove caulk from inside the crack
    • A second option for small cracks is liquid crack filler that comes in a bottle with a small nozzle and can be poured directly into the crack, slightly overfilling and allowing the liquid to level out over the edges of the crack
    • When cracks are deeper than ¼-inch, you have two options – either fill the crack initially with white sand up to about ½-inch of the surface and then fill it in two separate applications, with 24 hours in-between
    • Secondly, simply fill the crack in multiple applications with 24 hours between applications

    Concrete Driveway Repair Costs

    How much does it cost to repair cracks in concrete? The cost isn’t that large, and it’s certainly a lot less than replacing a large slab of concrete or an entire driveway, walkway or garage floor.

    DIY Concrete Repair Costs: If you do it yourself, your costs will include just the tools and materials. Price ranges for tools reflect that tools are available at various levels of quality:

    • Chisel: $8 to $14
    • Hammer: $5 to $25
    • Safety glasses: $5 to $10
    • Gloves: $3 for cloth to $10+ for leather
    • Wire brush: $4 to $10
    • Stiff broom: $8 to $12
    • Shop vacuum: $30 for a one-gallon; more for larger capacity
    • Concrete repair caulk or liquid: $4 to $12 depending on the size of the container

    Professional Concrete Repair Costs: A pro will consider his or her time and materials for the work, though most charge a minimum service fee of $75 to $150 which might cover the cost of a small job. For a series of cracks that need to be filled, expect to get estimates of $3 to $5 per linear foot of cracks.

    How to Save Money on Concrete Crack Repair

    If you’re planning to do the job yourself, you can save money by borrowing any tools you don’t have. When hiring a professional, the best way to save money is to get estimates from several different concrete services. This will give you the opportunity to find the lowest prices in your area as well as talk to the companies about their experience with concrete repair and what product they use to fill the cracks.

    Concrete Driveway Crack Repair Resources

    We think you’ll find these additional resources helpful.

    Cincinnati Concrete Solutions – A Cincinnati concrete contractor provides a detailed account of how cracks are caused and how you can prevent them in the future.

    Home Repair Tutor – This site offers a couple of different ways to fill cracks in concrete.

    Quikrete – Here’s a video from Quikrete showing exactly how to prepare the crack, clean it and fill it.

     

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