Cracks in Concrete Driveway: Causes and How to Repair Them

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Like any of your home’s other outdoor features, your concrete driveway will eventually break apart due to time, weather, and wear and tear. As a homeowner, here’s everything you need to know about why it splits and crumbles, and how to repair it.

The Top 3 Causes of Cracked Concrete Driveway

As durable and long-lasting concrete is, it’ll easily crack when not installed properly. Here are the most common causes of why it breaks apart.

Excess Water During the Mixing Process
Concrete doesn’t need plenty of water to achieve its maximum strength. If the mixture is too wet, it tends to crumble easily. Some contractors even use the Sakrete calculator to get the right ratio for their construction materials.

Rapid Drying
The method a contractor uses to cure the cement plays an essential role in how the entrance to your garage holds up. Hydration, the chemical reaction where concrete transforms from a liquid to a solidstate, occurs for weeks after the mixture is applied. It won’t harden fully and gain its maximum strength when not adequately dried.

Tree Roots
As trees grow, their roots build up pressure, which is strong enough to cause cracks in the pavement. Over time, they’ll increase in size and wedge themselves between the soil and the cement, creating more force.

The Top 3 Solutions for This Problem

Depending on your driveway’s age, the condition of its surface, and your budget, your options for repairs can range from patching to a complete overhaul.

Patching
To inspect your driveway, use a weed-removing tool or a push brush to scrape away grass or other debris that may be inside the cracks. Use a hammer or a chisel to chip away any crumbled cement. Then, remove the dirt around the area with a wire brush. You can also clean it by blasting loose material with a garden hose.
When the cement is completely dry, remove any remaining dirt between the cracks. Then use a sealer or other caulking products to fill them in. Let them dry for 24 to 36 hours.

Replacing
If touching up the cracks is no longer worth the money and effort, replacing your paved path may be necessary. A new one can last for over 2 decades.

Refinishing/Resurfacing
This option is the happy medium between the two solutions mentioned above. Contractors will remove the top layer of the paved path and pour another one over it. It’ll look brand new, without the hassle of major demolition.
These are 3 options you have when repairing your driveway. To ensure that it’s structurally sound and looking brand new, use a caulking product, like Quikrete or the Sakrete countertop mix.

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