Over time, it’s prevalent for streets and driveways to develop cracks and dips of all kinds. This may occur for a variety of reasons: heavy loads and impacts, tree roots growing underground, rainwater that seeps in and freezes and expands due to changes in temperature. Driveway cracks that go unfixed eventually leads to further erosion of the base beneath it. It may also lead to developing full-blown potholes. While this might seem alarming, there is no need to worry. Whether your home driveway is concrete or asphalt, the repairs can very much be basic, and you may be able to do it on your own without the need of hiring an external team to do it for you. Not only would this prevent further breakage, but it would also significantly improve the overall appearance of your home’s exterior for the long run. All you need is a few materials and a go-getter attitude to begin your driveway repairs.
What to Do Before Filling the Cracks
- Check the weather forecast to avoid choosing a rainy day or week. This method could potentially ruin any repairs you make.
- Acquire and wear personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves, to avoid any injury or scrapes.
- Before performing any repairs, it’s important first to clear the area of any leaves, dirt, or debris. You can use a simple broom or rake for this.
- Use a hammer or screwdriver and chisel to break off any loose pieces of concrete or asphalt without unnecessarily creating a more substantial crack. Use a firm wired brush to remove the rest of the debris from the crack’s edges.
- Next, remove any dirt, debris, or loose material that is inside the crack. You can do thoroughly do this by flushing it all out using an air compressor, or a garden hose.
Depending on the material of your driveway and the size of the crack, the method for repairing cracks differ. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the nature of the break before embarking on solving your driveway dilemmas.
Repairing Small Cracks on Asphalt Driveways
- For one or two cracks, one tube of asphalt sealant would be enough to solve your problems. This approach is to be applied directly from the container and into the crack to fill it and seal it.
- For small, hairlike asphalt cracks, a mop-on asphalt sealer, or any product that contains asphalt resin, would be ideal as this does not need heat for application.
- After applying the material, smoothen, and level out the crack with a flat-surfaced tool if necessary.
- Let the filler dry before walking or driving over the area. Apply this type of filler every 3-5 years.
Repairing Large Cracks on Asphalt Driveways
- In the event the crack is more in-depth than two inches, fill it with dirt or crushed gravel.
- Next, cover the surface of the crack with asphalt emulsion repair compound using a flat-surfaced tool.
- After, fill the crack with cold process asphalt repair compound, which should be available in home improvement stores.
- Utilize a heavy tamper to pack in the repair compound solidly.
Fixing Small Cracks on Concrete Driveways
- For small concrete cracks, you may opt for a tube of concrete sealer or pourable grout.
- Lightly dampen the crack and pour the material into the break.
- Use a trowel or any other suitable tool to push the filler into the crack ultimately. You may also opt to push it in with your thumb provided you are wearing rubber gloves.
Fixing Larger Cracks on Concrete Driveways
In the event the crack is broader and deeper than ½ inch, you may use any of the following approaches to solve your driveway cracks. Ensure first, however, that the crack is full below the surface rather than at the surface. This approach is to prevent any patching material from popping out of the break once the concrete contracts and expands.
Using Foam Rod For Concrete Cracks
- The first option is utilizing a foam rod that can be purchased at local department stores.
- Gently push the foam pre-caulking rod as deep as you can into the crack.
- Coat the surface with the same crack repair sealant that was utilized for fixing smaller cracks, as mentioned above.
- Let dry for a few hours.
Using Pourable Grout For Concrete Cracks
- The application of the grout differs for larger cracks. It is recommended first to pack it in until the crack only has ¼ inch to the surface.
- Then, lightly dampen the surface and apply grout all over the surface of the crack.
- In the absence of any filler material such as gravel or sand, you may also opt to apply ¼ inch grout in intervals to allow the layer of grout to dry before the next application. The dried grout then serves as the filler material inside the crack.
- Lastly, when using grout, it is also recommended to slightly overfill the crack to accommodate the shrinking of dried grout.
Using Vinyl Concrete Patch For Concrete Cracks
- First, mix your vinyl patch in a small bucket. Mix just enough material that can be applied within 30 minutes, otherwise it will dry before you can even use it.
- Next, use a trowel or any tool to spread the patch over the crack. Be sure to fill the entire area of the break.
- Be sure that the crack is not only filled, but is also filled with enough patch to smoothen it out along the adjoining surface. This is to make it seem more natural and connected.
If the cracks in your driveway seem far too numerous and deep to be fixed on your own, you may always contact a professional team to have it fixed for you. However, to avoid needing professional help, keep an eye on the state of your driveway so that you may remedy the cracks right at the onset of any crack.