Driveway paving experts Parking Lot Pros out of Dallas say that maintenance is nothing short of a fact of life for anybody who wishes to maintain a driveway in top condition (irrespective of whether it is asphalt or concrete). However, what that maintenance actually involves – and how much of it is required – is something that varies a lot between the two main types of driveways. Moreover, when the damage has already been done and repair is called for, then the precise method to follow here is also something that varies a lot between the two materials.
Concrete paving driveways have a lot to recommend them. They may lose out to asphalt in terms of how well they can resist the degradations of weather and nature, but it should never be thought that maintaining a concrete driveway needs to be a particularly taxing task.
And the same goes for the repairs that you might have to make for a concrete driveway. Here too you might have to attend to this task a bit more often than would be the case with an asphalt driveway. Nevertheless, by keeping in mind the golden rule that cracks should always be dealt with the moment they become visible, concrete crack repair need not be a laborious task either. A little bit of diligence really does reduce the effort required to properly maintain a concrete driveway.
How Cracks Form in Concrete Surfaces
Part of concrete driveway maintenance is, naturally enough, dealing with cracks. If you don’t, they will only widen and begin to provide a home for weeds. Before going on to the best way to deal with concrete cracks though, it’s worth outlining first just how they form.
Cracks in concrete can be caused by physical damage or the excessive weight of something on top of the concrete, but the main means by which cracks appear in a concrete driveway is the sneaky process of freeze-thaw weathering. Water first finds the smallest of openings, perhaps caused by simple wear or a little impact on the driveway, and thereafter freezes during cold weather. When water freezes, its volume expands, which widens the crack. Afterwards it melts, and there is now more space for water to get into the next time.
And so it continues until the cracks become significant and the substrate underneath is finally opened to the elements. When this happens, you have a much bigger repair job on your hands.
How to Repairs Cracks in a Concrete Driveway
So, repairing cracks is an important task. Do it early enough and it is a simple task. Here’s how to repair concrete paving cracks:
Widen the Cracks a Little
It might seem counterintuitive but chipping away the edges of a cracks and brushing out all the loose material is necessary before it can be filled.
Clean the Driveway
After that has been done, it’s wise to take a soapy water and a broom (or a power washer) and thoroughly clean the driveway (you do not want material accumulating anywhere as you work).
Apply the Filler
After that, it’s time to apply the crack repair filler. You should be sure to press the filler deep into the crack and push it down as much as possible. Afterwards, the surface should be made level with the surface of the concrete and smoothed even with a trowel.
These steps are all you need to follow if the crack has not become too wide or if a pothole has formed. Accordingly, it is always wise to deal with the problem before things get to that point – because that requires a whole other article!