Repairing Concrete Cracks: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn how to repair concrete cracks in driveways, patios, and other surfaces with epoxy compounds, latex patch material, mortar mixes and more.

Repairing Concrete Cracks: A Comprehensive Guide

Concrete is a durable material, but it's not immune to damage. Over time, concrete surfaces can develop cracks, gaps, holes, and other signs of wear and tear. Fortunately, these issues can often be repaired with the right materials and techniques. In this article, we'll discuss the best practices for repairing concrete cracks and other damage. The first step in repairing concrete is to identify the type of damage.

If the crack is large and wide, a patch compound mixed with water and applied with a trowel is typically the best solution. For smaller cracks, a respaver can be spread along the surface. In most cases, a patch is all that's needed for smaller cracks. Materials for repairing concrete can be purchased at home centers or online.

Options include epoxy compounds, latex patch material, and mortar mixes. The latter works best for filling large cracks or chipped edges, while the other products are suitable for cracks up to one inch wide or narrower. Pour enough dry concrete mix into a five-gallon bucket to repair any cracks and damaged areas. If the area to be repaired is not large or deep, sand mixture or concrete resurfacing without gravel can be used. For patching larger or deeper areas, a standard concrete mix containing gravel is recommended.

To fix wide concrete cracks, it's important to cut the sides of the crack into an inverted V shape. This helps the repair material get into the crack and create a mechanical bond in addition to the chemical bond between the patch material and the concrete. If your concrete surface has grease or other contaminants, visit your local hardware store or auto parts store to find a product that will help remove them. Once you've prepared the substrate, use a trowel to apply a concrete solution and smooth it into the crack or form the desired shape. When the concrete starts to set, you can use a broom with an extended handle to give it some texture.

Once all of the cracks and damaged spots have been filled, use the trowel to remove any excess concrete and smooth out the surface. Although Sakrete crack filler can be used for cracks up to one inch wide, it's better to fill larger gaps with foam tubes. If your driveway, patio, or other concrete surface has begun to show its age, make sure you take care of any repairs as soon as possible. Concrete installations can last hundreds of years when properly maintained. However, sooner or later most will develop small cracks, gaps, holes, and other signs of wear and tear. With the right materials and techniques, these issues can often be repaired quickly and easily.