Driveway Repair Tips

When your driveway is damaged, it needs to be repaired promptly. Otherwise, the damage will worsen and it can become dangerous. It also looks unsightly on your property.

Asphalt cracks less than a quarter of an inch wide can be repaired easily by Driveway Repair Charles Town WV experts. Clean the cracks of plants and hose them down before applying the repair material.

driveway repairRepairing Cracks

Even a newer concrete driveway is subject to natural wear and tear from outdoor elements, such as rain, snow, and sun. This wear can lead to small cracks forming on the surface of the concrete, especially in areas that experience frequent freeze/thaw cycles. If left untreated, these small cracks can widen and cause the driveway to crumble. Repairing these cracks prevents moisture entry and helps to preserve the lifespan of your driveway.

The first step in repairing cracks in your driveway is to thoroughly inspect the damage and determine the materials you will need. It is recommended that you use a flexible crack filler or concrete repair product and concrete crack sealant. These products are flexible enough to flex with the slight movement of the cracked surfaces of your driveway.

Choose a day with no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours before starting to work on your repairs. This will ensure that the patching material adheres to the existing surface and does not wash away. You will also want to make sure that the area is free of dirt, weeds, and loose mud or cement.

Begin by cleaning the cracks with a pressure washer or garden hose to remove any dirt, weeds, and debris that may interfere with your repair. It is best to do this when the weather is warm and dry so that the repaired surface dries quickly.

For hairline cracks, you can use a concrete crack filler that is labeled as being safe for use on asphalt. This crack filler is made from a blend of fine sand, resin, and cement. This product is easy to apply and works well for filling in small cracks.

Larger cracks in a driveway often need to be repaired with a different type of product. These larger cracks may be caused by erosion of the underlying ground or by shifting of the foundation of your home. This type of crack usually requires the use of a foam pre-caulking rod which is then filled with concrete crack repair sealant.

Once you have repaired all of the cracked sections of your driveway, you will need to smooth out any rough edges that remain. A hand sander or orbital sander with coarse-grit sandpaper will work well for this task.

Raising Sunken Sections

If you have large sections of your driveway that sink and create tripping hazards, this can be a dangerous problem. Not only do these spots look sloppy, but they can also funnel water and snow into your garage or compromise the foundation of your home. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to raise these sunken sections of concrete and make them look like new again.

First, you should clean the area with a broom, leaf blower, garden hose, or pressure washer to remove any dirt or debris that might interfere with the repair process. This will allow the patching compound to adhere properly, and it will also help you see if any cracks or chips need to be filled in.

Once the area is clean, you can apply a concrete sealant that’s specifically formulated for your driveway. Use a brush or roller to apply two thin coats, and let them dry completely in between applications. This will protect your driveway from stains and water damage, and it will also help prolong the life of your concrete.

Another option is to drill holes into the concrete and inject a special fill material. This method is known as slabjacking or mudjacking, and it works well for raising sunken concrete surfaces. The injected material expands and forms a lightweight, nontoxic foam that is very stable. This solution is less expensive than pouring new concrete and causes significantly less mess and disruption to your yard.

The main drawback to this method is that it only raises the surface of your driveway, and it doesn’t address any underlying issues that could cause further sinking or sagging. This means that the sinking areas may return in the future.

For the best results, it’s best to hire a professional company that specializes in concrete raising. This type of company will have a truck equipped with a specialized pump that can inject a limestone slurry under your driveway to lift it. The process is fast, clean, and effective, and it’s a much more cost-effective and convenient alternative to digging up and replacing the affected areas of your driveway. Contact a company today to find out more about this service or request a free estimate.

Smoothing Out Rough Edges

While it’s relatively easy to fix cracks and sunken sections in a concrete driveway, the edges of the surface are a little more challenging. The problem with the edges of a concrete driveway is that they’re exposed to stresses that other areas aren’t, such as cars driving over them or rain washing away mulch and causing erosion. The result is that the edges of a driveway can crumble and break apart, with portions of the concrete missing from the sides of the driveway or walkway.

To smooth out the edges of a driveway, first use a shovel or spade to remove any loose or crumbling pieces from the edge of the concrete. A sanding tool is also helpful for smoothing out the concrete. The sanding tool should be set to medium grit, such as 80 to 220, and brushed over the entire surface of the driveway, working in one direction. Once the area is smoothed, you can apply a concrete repair compound to prevent the patch from flaking or peeling.

A professional installer can also handle this type of work, particularly when the damage is extensive and a complete restoration is needed. The advantage of hiring a professional is that they will be equipped with specialized tools to deal with the issue. They’ll also be able to offer advice on the best type of repair to use.

For asphalt driveways, it’s often a better option to replace the whole surface than to repair individual areas. This is especially true if the surface is old and in poor condition, as well as if there are water issues that need to be addressed. If the damage is significant, however, you may be able to use cold patch asphalt to fill cracks and potholes and cover the entire surface with a new coat of sealer or oil-based asphalt stain.

Another alternative to mudjacking is polyurethane injections, which can be used to lift and reinforce the existing concrete. While the process is similar to mudjacking, it’s much less invasive and provides a more durable long-term solution. This is why many homeowners are choosing this state-of-the-art concrete lifting solution to tackle their repair needs.

Cleaning The Area

Cleaning a driveway is often neglected, but it’s a vital part of the repair process. Stains, whether oil from vehicles paint splatters, or even lawn and plant fertilizers, can cause permanent damage if allowed to penetrate the concrete. Scrub the area thoroughly, starting with the highest end of your driveway and working backward. Use a scrub brush that has been soaked in water, and then a full-strength commercial cleaner or heavy-duty degreaser. Rinse off the section you’ve just scrubbed and start again, working on a new five-foot length of the driveway at a time.

Concrete stains can be particularly stubborn. Older ones like mud and grease can be scuffed away with a wire brush, but the longer the stain has been there, the harder it will be to remove it completely. A good cleaner is key to getting a clean and beautiful concrete driveway, and the best one will depend on the type of stain you’re dealing with.

For fresh surface spills, absorbent materials, such as cat litter or sawdust, will do the trick. For older, deeper stains, however, you can try making a poultice out of an absorbent material (such as kitty litter) and a solvent (such as acetone or xylene). Wet the spot and apply the poultice, covering it with plastic to hold in the moisture. Scrub the area with a stiff brush after a few hours, and rinse and dry again.

Bleach can sometimes be used to clean a concrete driveway, but only if it’s not at full strength. For most stains, a bleach solution that’s diluted about 1 cup per gallon of water is sufficient.

You should also treat any weeds that are growing through the cracks in your driveway with a weed killer, as they can eventually damage the concrete if allowed to continue to grow. You can buy weed killer in a tube or putty form at your hardware store. After the concrete is clean, you can then seal it to protect the repairs and prevent future stains. This will give your driveway a finished look and help it last much longer.