Why concrete driveway cracks?

Concrete is made up of cement and water. As the concrete hardens and the water evaporates, the concrete contracts.

Why concrete driveway cracks?

Concrete is made up of cement and water. As the concrete hardens and the water evaporates, the concrete contracts. Too much water will cause excessive shrinkage, causing the concrete to crack. This is why cracks in concrete are often seen in the first 30 days.

Very fine surface cracks, sometimes referred to as “fissures”, are an indication that the concrete surface dried too quickly when it was poured. While unsightly, these cracks in a concrete driveway do not indicate underlying structural problems. As long as the rest of the entrance is in good condition (without it moving, sinking, or crumbling), you can replace those small cracks with a smooth concrete surface by applying a high-quality repaving product, such as the Quikrete concrete repaver. This cement-based product contains modifiers and polymer additives that are designed to form a durable and permanent bond with existing concrete.

Concrete inlets can crack for many reasons. Repeated freezing and thawing, heavy loads, tree roots, and even soil changes can cause damage. When you learn how to repair cracks in a concrete driveway, you may be able to stop them before they cause major problems. Fortunately, filling the cracks in a concrete driveway is a simple and relatively inexpensive DIY project.

Cracks due to crust formation usually occur during the concrete stamping process, which is a way of adding texture or pattern to concrete surfaces. On sunny or windy days, when the top of the tile dries faster than the bottom, the top of the concrete surface may become crunchy. When the seal is embedded, it separates the surface near the stamped joints and causes small cracks around the outer edges of the “stones”. Once again, while they don't look very good, crusty cracks are not a structural issue that should be considered.

The most common explanation for concrete driveway cracking is the freezing and thawing cycle in winter. Most people use salt to melt sand, which actually speeds up the freezing process. From there, it cracks and punctures, freezes again, cracks, sinks, etc. It is recommended to use sand instead, as most municipalities use a mixture of salt and sand on their roads today.

Because concrete can't shrink around a corner, the tension will cause the concrete to crack from the point of that corner. You can usually apply products such as concrete sealant or epoxy filler to cracks in concrete with a caulking gun. Yes, when sealing an inlet, filling concrete cracks will prevent water from flowing under the inlet, causing cracks in the entrance and under the foundation, weakening it. Yes, this means that you'll fill the crack in the entrance with sand because it will start to crush on itself, making it finer.

The sun is also not a friend of concrete, causing concrete inlets to crack as it heats up and expands. For a concrete inlet that has already cracked, a professional concrete contractor can do the repairs with dry packing, epoxy injection, or routing and sealing techniques. If cracks in the driveway are significant, such as especially wide or especially deep cracks, you may want to consult with a professional contractor to determine what steps to take next. The chemical reaction, which causes concrete to move from a liquid or plastic state to a solid state, requires water.

This chemical reaction, or hydration, continues to occur for days and weeks after pouring concrete. Long sleeves and long pants will help protect your skin when you use a pressure washer or otherwise work with concrete. While this type of problem is more common in older entries than in newer ones, it is an indication that the inlet, or at least the section with cracks, should be replaced. I'm not sure if it's the type of soil or if the state is in a curvature, but it's common for the driveway to have cracks.

In general, cracks that are wider than a credit card and go deep into the concrete are structural in nature and could be a sign of more serious problems (see Evaluating concrete crack repair). Even the American Concrete Institute has no standards or recommendations that give an affirmative or negative answer as to which cracks need repair based on width and other factors. And, if you start with a good quality concrete mix, such as Quikrete's crack-resistant concrete mix, you'll ensure that your new inlet section is as solid as possible and will stand the test of time. .


Arlene Divincenzo
Arlene Divincenzo

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