DIY sidewalk/driveway crack repair

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Old 02-26-14, 09:48 AM
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DIY sidewalk/driveway crack repair

hi there. we are going to be selling our home here in Charlotte NC within the next 6 months or so. many things to get squared away before we do.

I see some cracks in my concrete sidewalk leading to the house. and on the drive. I never noticed them but I am sure a buyer would.

clearly I know that cracks generally mean some underlying "problem" and will just reappear eventually if underlying cause is not addressed. that said, to make a "cosmetic repair," what approach would folks suggest?

is there an easy to use filler product? ideally something that could address both hairline cracks (more on the driveway) as well as the larger crack/damage right by the step which is a bit deeper (photo with my sock/foot in it)? or do I need to mix a little concrete and smear it down in there (I know I am way under-complicating that effort).

I know that the finish would be a different color; but I thought about doing a sidewalk/driveway stain all over, too. to give a more uniform color, if not "look." more on product selection for that later.

as for the cracks themselves..what have folks had success with? I am relatively handy.

thanks in advance. photos attached.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 03:22 PM
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These kinds of cracks are not unusual and should not cause any undo problem for a buyer. Howerver, repairing them on a periodic basisi is a good idea and should assure a possible buyer that you are taking care of the propeerty. Short of replacing the section there is nothing to permenetly fix them. I use a general concrete repair patch (the kind with fiberglass reienforcing fiberes is good). I do it about every three years. Not repairing them will only cause them to get worse.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 05:40 PM
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thanks Norm. I agree with your stance. I must say, I asked this (also) on another forum and was basically ridiculed for even considering this....everyone was arguing that a) it makes no sense to bother with such "small stuff" and b) it would end up looking worse than doing nothing. I don't see that. this is the front of your home. fair or not, issues up front color what a buyer thinks the rest of the way. it just does. or they may not even make it in the door.

this patch that you use, what brand? and is it just a neutral gray? my concern is I will fix them and they will be very obvious. which is good and bad. good in that it shows you care. bad in that you then have yet another color and texture on you driveway/walk.

wondering....a few homes in our neighborhood have done concrete stain to at least give a consistent, uniform color if they have had repairs, or additions to the driveway, etc. I think it looks decent...wondering if this patch you use would be paintable/stainable. ie -would it accept the color

thanks for the feedback.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 05:59 PM
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posted on the ' other forum ' - 1 pic appears to be a random crk as no control/contraction joint cut,,, its a bit spalled which means its now acting as a joint,,, movement causes the spalling,,, other pic looks like either early loading, someone backed a truck over it OR a soft base gave up a little support,,, there are sealants you can use however it means sawing a joint reservoir 1/2"w x 1"d,,, fwiw, pressure wash & move onto other issues ' -

i'm the only responder on the ' other forum ' who made a living professionally repairing conc incl cracks & joints - probably on this 1, too,,, IF you're not going to do it correctly, you'll just make it worse,,, apron/vest stores have NOTHING any pro would use other'n foam ear plugs,,, you were advised by most ( incl me ) to press wash it & pay more attn to the rest of the house - sounds good to me IF you wish more info, feel free to pm or even call

opaque stains hide imperfections - transparent stains highlight them,,, the loss of paste in the pics suggest old conc,,, lipstick on a pig doesn't change the pig much,,, no post suggested you weren't ' handy ' but there's no magic juice for these repairs,,, kind of a giggle reading someone repairs his repair after only 3yrs,,, in a low traffic area, proper repairs are usually good for @ least 10,,, sealants are the proper product - NOT cementitious materials

fwiw, just my $.03
 
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Old 02-27-14, 07:04 PM
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thanks, StaDry. the extra info you give (coverage of stains/paints) provides good info that can help me make an informed decision about whether an admittedly short-term, cheap, easy to execute solution (cement filler + solid concrete stain) that only needs to last 6-12 months is worth the effort.

I meant you no offense about whichever was your reply on the other site. but when some people drive by, drop their catchphrase and then treat you like you a moron ("ayuh, just paint the ground pink and no one will notice the cracks") for asking a legitimate question, it reinforces the idea that there are in fact people in this world who have nothing better to do then troll chat/forums and make others feel stupid.

In my opinion, its never acceptable to talk down to people from a position of power (here, the power of experience and knowledge). I guess making others feel small makes some feel big(ger)? Don't know.

so thanks for answering a serious question, seriously. take care.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 04:10 AM
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gfy

just kidding, heel,,, can understand how you misunderstood the downeaster's reply about pink,,, but cut him some slack - he's in his 80s & has to sit down to pee

won't we all some day ? best wishes !
 
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Old 02-28-14, 06:05 AM
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but cut him some slack - he's in his 80s & has to sit down to pee

won't we all some day ? best wishes !
ROTFLMAO....Best quote of the day.

tarheelblue...The stuff I'm partial to is Sakrete's Top and Bond (red labeled container). Thay have other stuff but Ifind this to be real good. The original owner of my house never treated the garage floor and as a result the salt and road debris has caused extrema flaking. I use a skim coat of TOP and BOND about every 3 or 4 years. Easy to use and durable. I've also used this to do the same type of repair that you have. Color all depends on how you mix it. A little bit more or less water cam make major differences in color with different batches. Yes you can add color to it but again each batch may be different unless your very accurate with adding water to the batch.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 07:31 AM
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thought we originally were talking about crack repairs, no ? main reason cementitious mtls aren't good for crk / jnt repair is they're rigid - no flex, poor adhesion, less cohesion,,, sealants ARE designed to move.

conc is a solid - expands/contracts in reaction to heat/cold [ absence of heat ],,, crks & jnts enlarge in cold & contract in heat - this means the slab's bigger in summer than winter,,, thermal expansion/contraction's enough to ruin cementitious crk/jnt sealers,,, duly installed proper sealants have the cohesion & adhesion to perform under those conditions

no opinion on top 'n' bond - have never used it,,, from what i know, its a good product used properly,,, if extreme color match is a goal, mix enough to do ALL the work at once
 
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Old 02-28-14, 01:15 PM
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stadry,

your right about the contraction expansion problem. And even then as told to me by a concrete expert..."All concrete cracks at some point in time". The only way to fix the problem is to re-pour those spots. But I don't think the OP wants to get that involved.

The Top and Bond is a cheap and easy temporary fix.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 05:15 PM
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have heard that for yrs - ' 2 types of conc - 1 is crk'd & the other hasn't crk'd yet ! ' horsepuckey IF the conc is designed, placed, & cured correctly, it won't randomly crk,,, already post'd probably cause of the op's crks from either workmen's laziness OR ignorance,,, driving a heavier-land-than-design'd onto the conc probably cause'd the edge's jnt crk.

just about everyone thinks 4" is fine - trust me, it ain't !
 
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Old 03-01-14, 07:48 AM
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Stadry,

Not to be argumentive, but sure, anything can be over designed. But cost and intened use dictates how an item is built. But I'll stand by my remarks.

But you bring up good points. My bigest gripe about concrete contractors and driveways is that they don't let the ground settle long enough before laying concrete or blacktop. As a result hollows and dips are created. Also, too large of slabs are usually laid. Water creeps in, freezes and surface cracks develope. As time goes by they get worse. I'd rather see half slabs laid with that expansion stuff used between each slab. But that adds cost and time thereby making it prohibitive.

My father-in-law excavated his own driveway and waited two years before having the blacktop layed. Neigbors complained. However, after 40 years he never had to have is blacktop redone while everyone else, be it black top or concrete had their driveways replaced at least once in that same amount of time.
 
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