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How To Repair Cracks In Concrete Or Driveway

Updated on June 26, 2017
Ashish Dadgaa profile image

Ashish Dadgaa is a Construction Manager with 10 years of experience in the Industry. He writes about Home Improvement and maintenance.

Are you worried about cracks in a basement floor, concrete slab, garage, driveway, sidewalk or patio? Leaky control joints or floor-to-wall? Leaking cracks in poured or block foundation walls? Flaking, pitting, or spalling outdoor concrete?

Concrete is very strong and durable surface, concrete floor or driveways deteriorate and create cracks over the years. Rather than going through the expense of removing the slab and pouring a new one, you can easily repair and resurface the existing concrete.

I can understand hiring a contractor to repair a concrete crack can be very expensive between $200 – $400 per crack but surprisingly anyone can repair concrete cracks.

I will show you easy and simple homeowners DIY for concrete crack repair. You can permanently avoid a problem of cracks or spalling indoor or outdoor concrete.

Whether repairing cracks that is leakage or merely hairline crack for appearance, you can repair cracks in concrete is an easy task. It will not only make the concrete look better but it will extend the life of the concrete by keeping out the elements.

COMPLEXITY
TIME
COST
Simple
9 Hours
Under $150

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Cold Chisel
  • Caulking Gun
  • Whisk Broom
  • Hammer
  • Vacuum
  • Trowel
  • Broom
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses

Materials

  • Sealer
  • Concrete Patch Material

Type of Crack and Repair Solution

Different Type of Cracks
Different Type of Cracks
Surface Area
Type of Crack
Concrete Crack Repair Solution
Concrete Floor or Slab
Wide Gaps (>1/2")
Fill with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Expansion Control Joints
Fill with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Leaks around Pipes Penetrations
Waterproof using PipeTite Gap Filler Kit
 
Hairline Cracks
Fill with CrackWeld Floor Repair Kit
 
Leaking Floor-To-Wall Joint
Repair using ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
Concrete Block Walls
Cracks, Holes, missing Mortar
Fill crack with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Leaky Pipe Penetrations
Fill void with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Deteriorated Concrete Blocks
Trowel on ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
Driveway, Sidewalk, Industrial
Control Joints, Saw Cuts
Fill expansion joint with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Cracks (<1/2")
Fill with CrackWeld Concrete Floor Repair Kit
 
Wide Cracks (>1/2")
Fill with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
Poured Concrete Walls
Wide Cracks (>1/2")
Fill with ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Voids, Holes, Honeycombs
Waterproof voids using ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler
 
Gaps around pipes, Wire Ties
Waterproof using PipeTite Gap Filler Kit
 
Cracks (<1/2"), Hairline Cracks
Fill with DIY Crack Injection Kit or PRO Injection Toolkit
 
 
 

Think Before You Start

Before you start you should always consider whether the crack is aesthetic, structural or you just need crack sealing. The techniques utilized to repair concrete cracks will depend on the location of the crack and size of the crack. Concrete cracks repairs need to be done carefully to avoid further deterioration and additional consequences.

The suggested technique for cracks will also depend on the surface being worked out and whether the crack will be visible or on a walkable surface. Cracks around corner typically happen due to thermal movement, drying shrinkage or other causes generally are minor and result in big problems. More often than not, a concrete crack will widen over time and result in water seepage or may be a loss of structural integrity.

Let's see how to repair concrete cracks in a simple and easy way while maintaining its strength.

Clean the Concrete Surface

Before utilizing any concrete joint filler, ensure that there is no dirt or oil on the surface. If there is a presence of any substance, utilize a cleaner that removes grease. This will assist the filler bond to the cement.

Step 1

Utilize a hammer and a cold chisel to remove any large particles in the crack. You should hold the chisel at an angle and pound with the hammer to clear out the crack. This is known as a "keying" the hole to make inside of the crack or the base bigger than it is at the surface. Keying will assist the new joining adhesive to bond well with the old concrete crack.

Step 2

Once you have keyed the crack, it's essential to clean up and remove debris or dust. By utilizing a whisk broom, vacuum the crack thoroughly.

Step 3

To apply the concrete joint filler, cut the nozzle off the bottle and slowly fill the cracks as shown in the photo. If you are utilizing a mixed concrete patch, mix according to the product direction and then trowel the patch into the crack as shown in the picture. Check the cracks after few minutes to see whether the joint filler has properly settled. You might have to apply some more joint filler if it doesn't look sealed and tight. Now with help of a trowel to smooth out the cracks.

Step 4

Now allow the joint filler to cure overnight or at least the duration recommended by the product manufacturer. Then check it again in morning to see if any additional patch is required.

Step 5

At last, after filling the concrete cracks, it is a good idea to seal it. Becuase concrete easily absorbs stains, and sealing will avoid that. There are many products available for concrete sealing, but a heavy-duty water-based polyurethane is a preferable choice. Apply the polyurethane with a brush or broom utilizing the bristles, If the floor is having a rough finish, to work the sealer into the rough and if the floor is having a smooth surface then utilize a roller. The advantage of water-based polyurethane is that it dries quickly, so you can apply a second coat after a few hours. Also, water-based polyurethanes don't smell as bad as other types of sealer. In heavy traffic areas, it is always a good idea to apply four or five coats.

Wrong Technique To Repair Concrete Cracks

Why Caulk Always Fails?

Generally, a homeowner will try to repair concrete cracks with silicone caulk, but this is only an artificial repair. If you see technically water will fill the inside of the crack and cause efflorescence, which will eventually loosen the caulk. In two to three years, the caulk will lose its bonding and start removing.

Never Use Hydraulic Cement

The impatient and disappointed homeowner will take off the caulk, chisel out the crack, and fill it with hydraulic cement. But in reality, hydraulic cement has a very weak bond with concrete, which is the reason the crack needs an inverted V-groove to get a good hold. Additionally, hydraulic cement is very rigid. As concrete continuously shrinks, expands and moves, then the rigid "rod" will loosen.

White powder will begin to purge, soon followed by drops of water or signs of moisture. After two to three years, water will begin to leak around it. An alternative concrete repair technique is to excavate and patch the crack on the exterior. This will be temporary repair as all surface repairs will eventually get loose or crack.

© 2017 Ashi

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