Driveways tend to be subjected to constant exposure to the forces of the elements, which over time, may often give rise to issues such as cracking. This particular occurrence is usually rife in areas that regularly experience freeze/thaw cycles, which in most cases than not, adversely affect concrete slabs. Generally speaking, in many circumstances, cracking on concrete driveways is not normally a huge cause for concern and can be dealt with using a variety of repair methods. However, to guarantee the overall efficacy of all of these solutions, it is always important to adequately resolve these issues before the situation deteriorates.
There are several factors that might come into play to worsen cracking on concrete driveways. This can include moisture gaining entry into the cracks, erosion of the soil beneath the slab, or even subsequent freeze/thaw cycles. It is essential to note by taking proactive and time-efficient measures to repair cracks on your driveway, you will be in a better position of circumventing far more serious problems. Problems that with time may prove to be labor-intensive and more to the point costly to address.
Typically, the main goal of repairing cracking on concrete driveways is to prevent moisture from finding its way into it. On the other hand, cracks might take a toll on the aesthetic appeal of your driveway. Most residential properties feature front-facing driveways, and it is always critical to make sure your home’s curb appeal is upheld. Prior to repairing any kind of cracks on your concrete driveway, a seasoned and skilled concrete contractor Kent WA will first take their time to accurately determine the underlying cause of the cracking in the first place. Cracking on concrete may be attributable to issues like overgrown tree roots, weight overloading, impact damage, and so on. Nevertheless, the biggest culprit behind these occurrences tends to be stagnating water, which over the passage of time, penetrates the slab. Once in place, this water will trigger the concrete to either expand or contract in accordance with fluctuations of temperature.
So, it is always vital to ensure the repair method picked can deter additional damage to the concrete. At the same time, the right repair solution will usually be dependent on the actual size of the cracks on your concrete driveway. Yet, despite this, the very first step in repairing cracking on concrete is cleaning it to fashion a clean surface that will bond effectively with the chosen repair material. Here are some of the best ways of repairing cracks on concrete driveways.
Diminutive, hairline cracks on concrete driveways
There is a variety of repair materials which can be used to patch up diminutive cracking on a concrete driveway. This might include textured caulk, pourable grout, concrete sealers to mention but a few. When it comes to sealers and pourable grout, the concrete contractor will first commence by slightly wetting the cracks with water. Alternatively, when utilizing textured caulk, this material is normally applied while the cracks are dry. The contractor will as well provide some overfill to take into account shrinkage once the caulk dries up. With all these repairs, he will ensure the cracks are filled and eventually make use of a pointing trowel to further push the material into them.
Bigger cracks on concrete driveways
When repairing cracking that is wider than ½”, experienced concrete contractors tend to overcut the cracks to make sure they are wider underneath the surface than at the surface level. This way, the repair material won’t pop out of the cracks once the concrete slab begins to expand or contract with changes to the temperature. One of the most effectual techniques of patching up larger cracks in concrete driveways is using poured concrete grout. This grout is applied no more than ¼ “ for each application. The contractor may fill up the crack with soil and leave a quarter inch to the surface to be filled up with the grout.
Alternatively, he might make multiple applications that are a quarter inch in thickness which will offer sufficient time for each application to dry up. When this is performed, the concrete contractor will overfill the cracks slightly in order to compensate for shrinkage attributable to the drying up of the grout. Conversely, he may use a vinyl concrete patch material that is yet another effectual solution for repairing big cracks on concrete driveways. In this scenario, the contractor will start by wetting the crack making use of either a spray bottle or a hose. Then, he will spread out the vinyl concrete into the cracking utilizing a pointed trowel. All the while, ensuring they fill it up in layers of a thickness of no more than a ¼ “. This sort of patch material normally experiences shrinkage as it proceeds to dry. This means applying it in layers enables the concrete contractor to distribute the material evenly to prevent further cracking over time.
On the other hand, for bigger and widespread cracking on concrete driveways, a concrete contractor might recommend concrete resurfacing as the ideal repair solution. This process involves doing away with the old surface of your driveway and then applying a new surface. However, for this technique to be successful and last long, the underlying concrete needs to be structurally sound. Otherwise, if the problems that caused the cracking aren’t resolved, the new surface will, in the long run, manifest cracks. The plus for settling for concrete resurfacing is it will allow you to rejuvenate the appearance of your old driveway less the exorbitant cost of tearing it out and installing a new one. Also, this concrete driveway repair method can offer more options in the context of adding decorative concrete finishes including stamping and coloring.