When you break a concrete surface, one of the most common problems encountered is a driveway that turns into a monster mess. According to professional contractors, a concrete repair can be problematic because the material is porous, so it absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment and the ground. This causes a buildup of pressure along the surface, which causes the crack to expand. Once the surface loses structural integrity, the crack will either shut or widen, depending on its severity. You can minimize damage to your driveway by using preventative maintenance techniques. Some preventative methods of concrete repair include concrete sealing and preventative painting.
A concrete sealer prevents water from seeping into the driveway. The sealer will either be applied directly to the concrete or to the surface of the driveway with a brush. Before applying the sealer, check to make sure it is appropriate for the type of surface on your driveway. Applying the sealer is quick and easy, as long as the driveway is not closed. In addition, concrete repair sealants are easy to apply to small cracks or punctures.
Many people opt for concrete repair instead of replacing damaged sections of their driveway. If there are only a few badly cracked or chipped sections on your driveway, you may be able to fix them yourself. However, most people have larger cracks or sections that require more than a handful of cans of cement. If you choose to attempt to make repairs to large or cracked sections of your driveway on your own, make sure you wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, and work in an area with adequate ventilation. This is especially important if the cracked section is underground or on a slope.
One of the biggest problems with concrete repairs is the amount of time that it takes to get the surface of your driveway repaired. Even if you hire a contractor to come in and take care of the damage, the actual repairs will likely take much longer than usual. You should plan on spending anywhere from two weeks to several months on average to get all of the damage corrected.
Before starting any concrete repair project, it’s important to get the proper supplies. Tools you’ll need include: putty knife, cement primer, cement sealer, and water resistant adhesive. It is important to have all of these items on hand before you begin. A putty knife will be used to scrape away the old patching material from the concrete surfaces you are repairing. Primer will be used to coat the concrete surfaces so they can properly seal the new patching compound. Water resistant adhesive is used to cover and seal the new patching compound.
Small cracks and holes will usually only require one or two cans of putty to complete the repairs. Larger holes or cracks may require three or four cans of putty to complete the repairs. It is a good idea to have all of the correct quantity of putty available when you start to replace or repair your driveway. If you have a large hole or crack that requires you to add a fresh layer of patching compound, it is often a good idea to start the repair work ahead of time so you have enough putty to finish the job.
Most concrete repair jobs should only take a couple of hours to complete. For larger holes or cracks, you may want to let them dry overnight so that you can the next day begin to patch them. Most homeowners do not like to wait around overnight for a patch to dry. In fact, many people prefer to keep their vehicle in the garage during the day so that they can go back inside, put on their dry clothing, and begin patching the repairs right away. You may find yourself appreciating this much quicker method of patching a leak than waiting for an entire day for the patch to dry.
In summary, concrete crack repair does not have to be a daunting project. Many homeowners are able to do the repairs themselves using basic tools that they probably have in their own home. In addition, if a damaged area has become too cracked or crumbling, patching it can often be done without hiring a contractor by repairing the damage with your own hands!