What to do about cracks in a concrete driveway
There can be many reasons for developing cracks in a concrete driveway. They can be due to tree roots, movement taking place in the soil to freezing and thawing process in the winter seasons.
Identifying different types of cracks in a concrete driveway
Plastic shrinkage cracks
One of the most common reasons for early cracks is plastic shrinkage. These cracks are only a hairline and are hardly visible. Although it is a hairline, it spreads the complete thickness of the slab. They develop just after few hours after the slab has been poured and the project is completed. One of the main factors that result in this type of cracks is mixing the concrete too wet.
Another big cause for cracks in concrete driveways is expansion. During hot weather, a concrete slab can enlarge or expand as it gets hotter. This can further result in great stress on a slab. Due to this effect, concrete may push against any object that comes in its way. The resulting force can lead to a crack.
Cracks due to crowding
Heaving is also one of the main causes of developing cracks in the concrete. It happens because of freezing or thawing cycles. During such periods the freezing ground can lift up to many inches, and then may go down again when the ground thaws. If the slab does not have enough space to move, it will crack. If there are large tree roots, they can cause the concrete to heave.
Cracks due to subsidence
You may also find cracks in your concrete driveway if a large tree is removed from near a concrete slab. The buried roots will decompose resulting in an empty space. This will result in the settling of ground and the concrete to crack. Settling is most common over trenches where the useful pipes and plumbing pipes are buried.
Cracks due to excessive weight on top of the slab
Another crucial reason which results in cracks is excessive weight on the top of the slab. Although it is a very durable material, concrete has some load boundaries. When ground water penetrates the concrete, it causes the soil to become soft, and too much weight on the slab can put pressure on the concrete, pressing it down. Property owners who use driveways for keeping large vehicles or dumpsters are more likely to find this type of cracks. Even driving heavy vehicles on the corners of the slab can result in a crack.
Cracks due to early drying
You will find some concrete cracks that are similar to spider webs or dismantled glass. They are fine surface cracks that occur when the top region loses moisture too quickly. They are so smooth that there is no way to repair them.
Why you should repair cracks in a concrete driveway?
Broken or sunken driveways can give rise to manifold problems. They can direct rain water towards the base. Too much water can result in seepage and structural issues if they are not identified and rectified quickly. All these issues can cause falling hazards. One more important reason to fix cracks in a concrete driveway is improving the look and feel of it. You will generally find driveways in the front, so it helps improve the curb appeal. Before you start the project of concrete crack repair, try to find out what was the reason for cracks. Think what should be done in order prevent any future damage.
What methods are used to repair the cracks in your concrete driveway?
It is always sensible to identify the cracks in your driveway as early as possible so that it does not result in expensive repairs after wards. If you identify crazing in the concrete, you can easily fix it by applying a resurfacing product. They do not cause any grave problems. But if the cracks are deep, they can result in serious problems. Although you can fill them, the fix is not long lasting. It is highly recommended to call a professional if you have a lot of deep cracks or you see loose gravel.
Many types of concrete repair fillers and mixes are available in the market. If you find many cracks in your concrete driveway, it is recommended to use dry concrete mix. And for deep cracks, use concrete mix that has gravel in it. It is always good to wear rubber gloves when handling concrete fillers, mixers and resurfacing products. You should also wear safety glasses to safeguard your eyes. You should also think of using kneepads to cushion your knees if you have to kneel down to fix the cracks.
You may try to fix the issues on your own if the cracks are not that large or deep; but it is best to call the professionals to deal with any kind of major issues in your concrete driveway. They will also help you in sealing concrete driveway cracks. They have the knowledge, expertise and skills to do the job professionally. They will work on your property without any hassle. Even, they will suggest you ways to keep your driveway looking good for long.
Call the experts
At T &T Redi Mix, we provide professional concrete delivery and services in North Dallas. We have been supplying superior quality concrete mixes for all types of projects. Whether you want our services for your commercial or residential project, we have you covered.