If you have a concrete driveway or walkway you may need to do some concrete repair work at some time or another. In the past, this was a chore, to be sure. But today you can repair most concrete problems fairly easily.
One thing to keep in mind when cracks show up in concrete is that they will often only get bigger if you do not fix them. Water will seep into them in the winter, the concrete will freeze, and those small cracks will become big ones. You can bet on it. If they get too big your only real option is to have the concrete removed and the space poured with new concrete. This can be very expensive. Here are some steps that you can take to handle those small cracks now.
Concrete sealer and cleaner
Mortar repair in a caulking tube
Steel scrub brush
1. To prepare a smaller crack, rinse it out with water and allow it to dry completely. As you do this, use a steel scrub brush to knock any loose particles away from the crack. It is important that the crack be as clean as possible.
2. Once the crack is clean and dry, use mortar repair in a caulking tube to fill in the crack. Make sure you force it all the way into the crack to seal it. This will prevent water from leaking into the concrete. You can use the tip of the caulking tube to smooth the mortar and then use your finger to do the final smooth work.
3. To repair big cracks, you will need to mix up a batch of concrete patch. You can purchase this in small bags at a home supply store or hardware store. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and do not mix too much up at one time. If you mix too much and it dries before you get it down, it will have to be discarded and a new batch will need to be made.
4. Once you have the patch at the right consistency, use a pointing trowel to force the concrete patch into the crack. Remember to smooth it out so that it looks good. This smoothing process can take a bit of time depending on big the crack is, which is another reason to mix patch in small batches, just enough to do what you have to do at the present time.
If the mortar repair product that you bought has concrete sealant in it already you do not need to apply more. If it does not, you should apply concrete sealant once the repair work is done and dry.
If your repairs are extensive, you may want to call in a local driveway contractor or concrete contractor. These professionals can help you avoid some very costly repairs in the future.