It may seem like small and large cracks you see in your concrete driveway or patio should be easy to fix. Just pour in some more concrete, right? No. Cracks and holes in concrete cannot be fixed simply by adding more concrete. This does not mean you have to rush to call in a concrete crack repair services company to take care of your problem for you. With some work and concrete crack filler, you can fix your problems with your driveway or patio.
First, there are different kinds of concrete crack fillers out there. If your cracks are wide, you will need to patch them and then apply a seal, which is a compound made for these situations. If you have smaller cracks that measure less than one-quarter inch across, you can get away with a liquid filler or concrete caulk.
For the patching, all you need to do is combine the compound with some water and then use a trowel to fill in the crack. You can work with the mixture to get the texture you want and make it all blend in with the concrete that is around it. If you want the color to match the surroundings, you will have to add the right color paint to the mixture.
Fixing Large Cracks in the Concrete
The first step in this process is to make it look like a “V.” Many experts say this is the most important step. What you want to do is create this inverted V under the sides of your crack. This helps the concrete filler material to bond with the concrete that is there. Here are the steps you need to take to do this:
- Use a hammer to increase the size of the crack’s base. You should make sure you remove any loose concrete and material.
- Get rid of any debris in the crack. The best took for this is a wire brush. Some people have success with a power washer or garden hose.
- Use a shop vac to get the water and debris out of the crack. There may be a lot of grit and dust on the concrete crack, know that the cleaner you get this, the better the concrete crack filler will be able to bond to the concrete itself.
- Follow the instructions that came with your concrete crack filler to mix it.
- Use a small trowel to work your filler material into the crack. Remove air pockets of air. By tapping the compound with your trowel, you can both push the material further into the crack and get rid of air pockets. Put enough material into the crack so that it is flush with the rest of the concrete.
- Use a smoothing tool to make the surface similar to the concrete around it. You can also change up the texture with a paintbrush,
Dealing with Smaller Cracks in Concrete
There is a much more simple way to deal with cracks that are smaller. For thee, you should get yourself a caulking gun and some elastomeric filler for cracks. If you do not want to go that route, you can get some filler in a container with an application tip. If you have really tiny cracks that you want to fix, there are concrete patching materials that have vinyl. After applying either kind of concrete crack fillers, you can smooth other the surface of the crack with your trowel or a knife.
Smaller cracks can look less problematic but the width of a crack tells you nothing about the depth. These small, even hairline, cracks can run very deep. In some instances, the crack goes the entire depth of the concrete. You can begin your repair process with a foam backer. If the crack is very deep, this can create a good base that will let the concrete crack filler to adhere to the backer and the existing concrete.
When you start to see cracks in your driveway or patio, it is always a good idea to work on them sooner than later. It is always easier to fix small problems. Small cracks will never fix themselves but will grow to become larger problems that can ultimately impact the integrity of your entire concrete patio or driveway.