Solutions for Cracks In Your Concrete Driveway

Solutions for Cracks

In Your Concrete Driveway

Cracked Concrete
Your driveway looked great once upon a time, but now it’s a cracked mess. Maybe you even have a section or two that’s heaving. The good news is you probably don’t need to replace your driveway; there are several concrete crack repair solutions to dramatically improve your driveway’s appearance and prevent further damage.
Cosmetic, Narrow Cracks
Concrete Cracks
If your driveway just has fine cracks on the surface that are only cosmetic — a problem that can be called “crazing” — it may mean that your concrete dried too fast when it was fresh. These cracks can be ugly but they aren’t a sign of serious structural issues. If the concrete isn’t crumbling, heaving, or sinking, the best solution is concrete resurfacing.

Concrete resurfacing involves applying a cement-based product that bonds with your existing concrete to create a surface that looks like new again. You can choose a standard resurfacer to get the look of new, gray concrete or even choose an acrylic microtopping to add color to your driveway.

  • Affordable and fast solution
  • Makes your driveway look like new again
  • Decorative effects are possible
Cracks Up to 1/4″
Large Crack In Concrete
If you have a handful of cracks that are narrowing than 1/4″, they are probably caused by shrinkage that happened as the concrete cured. These cracks aren’t a sign of structural problems with your driveway but they can be an eyesore. The cracks will also worsen with time as water flows into the cracks then freezes, expanding and forcing the cracks to widen.

These fairly small cracks can usually be filled with a special polymer sealant which will prevent more serious problems from developing. A textured sealant will even blend in with your driveway surface to help hide the repair.

  • Sealants are appropriate for these smaller cracks
  • Sealing cracks helps prevent them from worsening
  • A sealant stops moisture from entering the crack and freezing
Widening Control Joints
Concrete Repair
Your concrete driveway should have control joints every 8-10 feet. These joints are important for large slabs of concrete because they help limit shrinkage cracks and stop movement of the slab. When the concrete cracks, most of the cracks should be hidden deep in the joint. Still, control joints can separate or widen over time and this problem will only get worse. You can even get weeds growing in the control joints.

To fix this separation, a self-leveling polymer sealant is a good choice. Even when the joint is filled, it will still serve its purpose. A foam backer rod should be used if the joint is more than 1/2″ wide, however, to keep the sealant from running out of the crack

  • Polymer sealant can be used to fill the separated joints
  • Even filled, the control joints still serve their purpose
  • Make sure you use a backer rod for larger joints
Wide Cracks with Settling or Heaving
Heaving Cracks
This is one of the most serious problems your concrete driveway can develop. Cracks that are more than 1″ wide and uneven — or not located in a control joint — are a sign of structural problems with the concrete. This is especially true if one side of the concrete is higher than the other.

This problem doesn’t have a DIY fix. The section with the cracks will likely need to be replaced by breaking up and removing the damaged section, adding a new gravel base, and pouring fresh concrete.

  • Large, jagged cracks and/or heaving or settling indicate a structural problem
  • The damaged section of your driveway likely needs to be replaced
  • You will probably want a professional to handle this repair