Repairing Cracks in Your Concrete Driveway: Easier Than You Think

Repairing cracks and even small potholes in your concrete driveway is not out of reach of even a do-it-yourselfer with marginal skills. All it takes for the average homeowner to repair cracks in there concrete driveway are a few simple tools, a small investment in materials and attention to detail.

Materials

One of the first decisions the driveway repairer has to make is what product to use. This will be determined by size of repair and type of use the area to be repaired gets. Fortunately, there are many good products available for concrete driveway repair. These products can be found at your local hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes or building supply store. Good products are available from Quikrete and Euclid Chemical. Some available products are simple Portland cement, polymer based products that usually come in a caulk tube for repair of hairline cracks and bonding agents to help make your repair last. Consult your hardware professional about what product will be best for your project.

Tools needed

Possible tools and material you might need for your concrete driveway repair job might include:

�· Concrete

�· Concrete float

�· Concrete patch mix

�· Cement

�· Cold chisel

�· Hammer

�· Finishing trowel

�· Hammer

�· Garden hose

�· Work gloves

�· Wire brush

�· Pointing trowel

Repairing Hairline Cracks

�· Hairline cracks can be repaired using a grout made with Portland cement and water. A polymer based product can also be used with good results

�· One of the most important steps in repair of concrete is to thoroughly clean the area to be repaired. Use your wire brush for this. Make sure any loose concrete is removed.

�· The next step is to thoroughly wet the area to be repaired using your garden hose. This should be done for several hours. This step is important because dry concrete will draw the water from your grout mixture too fast, not giving the cement time to set. Make sure there is no standing water when you are ready to place your repair mixture.

�· Using your repair material, take a pointing trowel and force as much of the mixture as you can into the crack. Smooth off mixture. After about 2 hours, cover repair with plastic, leaving the plastic in place for about 5 days. Make sure you water your repair every day to help your mixture to set up properly.

Repairing Larger Cracks or Holes

Repairing larger cracks or holes in driveways takes a little more time and preparation. This task is still within the reach of the average do it yourselfer. The steps you need to take when repairing a large crack or hole in your concrete driveway are as follows:

�· Using your cold chisel and hammer, undercut the edges of your hole or crack. This step is very important because the undercut will help your repair mix adhere and last. Clean the area to be repaired thoroughly.

�· Take cement adhesive or a bonding agent and thoroughly brush it on the undercut.

�· Using a gravel mix, either a premix that you can by or a mix you can make yourself using one part Portland cement, two parts sand and three parts gravel, push the gravel mix into the repair area.

�· Finish the area using a concrete float or trowel.

�· As with hairline cracks, cover the area with plastic. Make sure you water the repair area for 5 days to give the concrete time to set up properly. Keep your vehicle off this area until the concrete is cured.

To help you find material and concrete drive repair hints, go to the following websites:

�· Ace Hardware

�· Home Depot

�· Lowes

�· Quikrete

�· Euclid Chemical

�· DIY; Home Repairs Any Gal Can Do

�· Handyman Magazine

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