Crack in concrete driveway


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Old 08-31-07, 07:03 AM
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Crack in concrete driveway

Recently moved into a house built in the mid 60s with a concrete driveway that has a crack running down the middle. I suppose the fill was not compacted and the 10ft x 16ft slabs cracked over time. Driveway pic at http://public.fotki.com/MarcCindy/driveway-cracks/1cracksdownthedriveway.html

The problem is the there is up to a 1 inch height difference at the cracks. Closeup pic at http://public.fotki.com/MarcCindy/driveway-cracks/2crackelevation.html

I've read a few how-tos on repairing simple cracks but how best to feather out the low side of the crack? What material is best for this? I'm looking for a DIY procedure to keep costs to a minimum.
 
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Old 08-31-07, 06:38 PM
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Sorry to sound like a defeatist, but it's not gonna happen. For one, a 45 year old concrete driveway has about lived it's useful life. It may still be functional, but aesthetically it is past its prime. There's really nothing DIY that will work. No patch material will last, and will be so different in color that it will always look like a patch.
What might work, if the concrete is still sound, is slabjacking. A company will come in and drill holes in the low side, pump a lime slurry under the concrete, and jack it up to match the elevation of the high side. It is a time tested method that has produced great results. It's sometimes also called mudjacking, or concrete leveling.
The reason your concrete cracked down the center is that it should have had a crack control joint running down the center instead of just across the drive every 10 feet. That would have made 8 x 10 sections which may still be in good shape today. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 09-01-07, 04:46 AM
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Thanks. I was afraid of that.

I read about slapjacking but it sounds expensive and I would still have a crack running down the middle.

While I understand that a patch would be a different color I'm surprised there is no material that would work here. I can't visualize whether a different color patch would look better than the crack.
 
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Old 09-01-07, 04:58 AM
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Hi:
I totally agree the response, above. It's a very professional and terrific advice on this regard. However, as seeing that you just moved in the current house with problematic driveway, ... then in my suggestion. because we, too have a similar problem, not like yours, but minor crack here and there on the aged-driveway which is more than 35 years. Then, I would share the experience although I have no idea whether it's workable to your driveway.

Until we firmly decided to tear it out and get a complete brand new driveway, we did the following:
First, clean all around problematic area surrounding crack areas by using chisel and similar-sharp tool.
Second, hose-down to make it completely clean
Afterwards, apply a concete patch which comes a tiny bucket or chaulk/tube. The latter is needed to use a chaulk-gun. We purchased a lot of very expensive chaulks in grayish from Home Depot and Lowe's. It cost us about $100 altogether, but it's well worth as seeing that after two years, all of those cracks are still filled. Read an instruction on the back of the concrete patches carefully, because you are not able to use the driveway for few days after application. Also, it needs a nice and less-humid weather for good adhesion. We did all in the fall, about two years ago.

For our driveway, it works OK except slight difference in color to the existing driveway's. However, I have no idea whether it works or not because of degree of cracks on your driveway.
 
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Old 09-01-07, 05:33 AM
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I just forgot to add one more thing, .... as to filling a large crack:
What we, the family did the following for larger crack,
First, clean problematic areas by using any sharp tools, such as chisel and screwdriver and then rinse completely, for not dirt mixed.
afterwards, put pea-gravel mixed with small amount of sand, ... but NEVER dirt for that purpose.
Using a bucket of concrete-patch first, then after cured it over-nite, put chaulk/tube applied by chaulk-gun.
For smoothness to match surrounding area, I used a patty-knife or even my own fingers and palms wetting with water.
 
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Old 09-03-07, 05:50 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience.

I bought a bag of the Vinyl Concrete Patcher to try out since it's fairly cheap ($10+ for 40lb) and figuring I've got nothing to lose here. I'm going to try it on a cracked sidewalk first to see how it works out and looks.

I saw the expensive tubes at HD you mentioned which I may try as well.
 
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Old 09-04-07, 08:17 AM
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Through the experience as to the problematic driveway, ... we, the family did try many methods, starting right after purchase of this house that was built around in early '60. Driveway was constructed by a previous owner who did improve around the house, one of which was driveway. However, due to half-home made/DIY assisted by the previous owner's friend/concerete contractor, then it was NOT perfect in the first place, ... in my opinion. But, we love this house so dearly, then we worked for it tediously.

At first, we did fix several cracks by using vinyl-mixed concrete patch in a bag/40 lbs. that lasted for about two years or so. Afterwards, we needed to re-do all over again due to concrete patch that is designed mostly for larger projects. On the otherhand, expensive concrete patches which come both a tiny bucket and chaulk lasts definitely MUCH longer and also VERY durable along with its appearance.

However, it's a good idea to experiment which concrete patches is most desirable. Also, like any handy-works around the house, there is 'trial and error' to learn all of those tricky parts, if you never owned house before. It's a fun although there are patience and labor involved, along with 'money.'
 
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Old 09-04-07, 02:28 PM
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I was a bit hasty in saying that no patch would work. I will revise it to say that no rigid patching material will work (unless perhaps you are in a very mild climate with no extremes in temperature, such as freeze/thaw cycles). If you are in such a mild climate, then go for it. If you are in a more extreme climate, only a flexible patching material (not vinyl patch) will work. The material has to be able to move with the slabs without cracking and chipping out. A good grade of caulk may work, but will it look better than the cracks? Your call.

Pecos
 
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Old 09-04-07, 03:20 PM
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I definitely have the freeze/thaw to contend with in upstate NY.

I haven't opened the bag yet but I think I'll go ahead and use it to patch the sidewalk even though I suppose this could give me the same problem with freeze/thaw cycles.

I enjoy trying these things as long as not too expensive and especially if recovery is possible if the cure doesn't work out.
 
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Old 09-21-07, 05:31 AM
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I got sidetracked reparing a chimney and am now getting back to the driveway.

Since the driveway really should have had an expansion joint down the center per pecos, can this be added now? Can I rent a concrete saw, cut a strip down the driveway, and add in the expansion joint strips? Then go after patching the actual crack.

Also, anyone had any success adding coloring to concrete patch to get closer to an old concrete color? I had reasonable success adding Terra Cotta color to the patch to repair chimney brick and I see that Quickrete has a good variety of other concrete colors.
 
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Old 09-21-07, 12:06 PM
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After more than 40 years, there would be no point in sawing a joint down the center. Control joints should be placed within a day of the concrete pour. Their purpose is to make the concrete crack in the straight joint, instead of randomly across the slab.
Coloring the patch may be an option, depending on how good you are with colors. It certainly couldn't hurt anything.

Pecos
 
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Old 09-22-07, 05:49 AM
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Cast-in-place concrete will always crack/move over time. Control joints would not have prevented the movement, just dictated where the relative movement will occur.

Concrete is a very good long lasting pavement material, but will eventually have this type of fate, and the only way to make it look good is to have it ripped out (an expensive proposition) and have the driveway re-done.

Personally I like concrete driveways but would never have one for the above reasons. Mine is interlocking brick, easy to re-level when required, and looks even more attractive to me.

I realize this doesn't help with the repairs, and I have no suggestions for a solution that would look good (I don't believe there is one) but thought I'd share my views on concrete driveways (ditto for asphalt) which may help folks decide on their next driveway surface.
 
 

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