What is best procedure (besides total replacement) to care for 53 year old...

Asked October 30, 2016, 5:50 PM EDT

What is best procedure (besides total replacement) to care for 53 year old concrete driveway near Cleveland,OH with some cracks up to 1.5 inches across?

Cuyahoga County Ohio building construction

1 Response

Hi-

Thank you for contacting OSU Extension. There are several steps in the process.

1. Determine why the cracks are present. The most common reasons are tree roots and saturated soil, which expands, contacts, and sinks as it freezes and thaws. As much as possible, eliminate what is causing the cracks to help prevent them from recurring.

2. Clean out the cracks as much as possible. This can be quite time consuming, but is very important. You will need to remove dirt, dust, stones, weeds, and pieces of concrete several inches down. There are a variety of ways to do this. An air compressor with an air nozzle would be the best tool, although a ShopVac and a screwdriver can get the job done too. Regardless, clean out the crack and edges.

3. For wide cracks, it is sometimes recommended to use a cold chisel to widen the crack at the bottom, so the bottom is wider than the top. This will prevent the patch from coming out as the concrete expands and contracts with temperature changes.

4. Fill the crack. For large, wide cracks, use a mortar mix or other pourable concrete product to fill the crack. For finer cracks, concrete caulking can be used. With either method, make sure to fill the crack and get rid of any air pockets where water could accumulate (and freeze, breaking the patch).

5. Blend the patch material with the surrounding concrete to form a good seal.

6. Allow patch to cure.

7. Consider using a concrete sealer to prevent water from getting into the concrete. There are a variety of good products that are fairly inexpensive and easy to apply.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me- my phone and email are below this message.

Thanks-John