concrete for long-lasting household projects

How To Fix Concrete Driveway Cracks

by Kyle Carpenter

The driveway is among the first thing noticed about your home, especially by potential buyers. If you have a concrete driveway, it shouldn't be  surprising to find a crack. While concrete is durable, damage can occur from freezing water, standing water, tree roots, and excessive heat. 

Fixing cracks not only improves appearance,  it keeps water from absorbing further into the crack. It is easy to fix cracks in concrete driveways by following these tips.

Prepare to Work

For this project, gather:  

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • pressure washer (optional)
  • wire brush
  • spray bottle
  • broom
  • rubber squeegee
  • flat-edged trowel
  • five-gallon bucket
  • hammer and cold chisel
  • power drill with mixing paddle
  • textured caulk (optional)
  • concrete mix
  • concrete resurfacing mix 

Break the concrete loose with a chisel. Clean the debris from the crack with the wire brush, and sweep the whole driveway. 

If you find mold, pour a concrete cleaning solution in the power washer and attach a low-pressure nozzle to it. Spray the solution and let it set. Rinse the solution using a high-pressure nozzle, then let it dry.

Fill hairline cracks with textured caulk. Mist the area lightly with water, then squirt the caulk into the crack and let it cure.

Mix the Concrete

Pour enough concrete mix or resurfacing mix in a five-gallon bucket to fill larger cracks. A resurfacing mix does not have gravel and it can be used for small cracks that are a half-inch or less. 

Add enough water to make a dough-like thickness, and mix it with a power drill  and mixing  paddle attachment. Two and one-half quarts of water will cover a sixty square-foot area.

Pour the Mixture

Pour the mixture in the damaged area no more than thirty minutes after you add water.  Work the concrete mix into the cracks using a flat-edged trowel, spreading it to about one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Check for excess mix, and remove it with a trowel

After the mix has dried, add a layer of resurfacing concrete. Mix the resurfacing concrete to the thickness of pancake batter. Mist the area with water to prevent the mix from drying fast, then spread it on, working in small areas using a rubber squeegee. 

If you prefer, run a damp broom over the area to give it texture. This also keeps the area from being too slippery when it gets wet. Let the resurfacing mix dry at least six hours and wait another twenty-four hours before you drive on it.

Fixing concrete cracks will extend the life of your driveway. If you don't trust your skill, or the driveway is seriously damaged, contact a concrete contractor.