Many people may argue that a cracked concrete driveway is an inevitable part of life. However, that does not mean that you cannot get many years out of a good repair job. Cracks can be caused by weather elements such as the sun and rain, which expand and contract the concrete surface, making it crack over time. Other factors that may crack the driveway concrete include the weight of the vehicles passing above the surface and corrosion caused by chemicals in storm water runoff. If you want to the concrete patchwork on your driveway to last many years, here are some considerations to bear in mind.
Proper Mixture of Elements — Your concrete driveway is made of four fundamental elements: cement, water, sand, and gravel. Here, the most important ingredient that glues the other elements together is cement. When cement reacts with water, a chemical reaction occurs that binds gravel and sand to the cement. A strong bond between these elements is achieved when generous amounts of cement are used in the patchwork.
Use Bonding Agents/Sealers — When choosing a bonding agent, strike a balance between performance and aesthetics. A high-quality sealer extends the life of the driveway and improves its aesthetics through a glossy and colorful finish. A sealer, often made of an acrylic bonding agent is akin to glue found in paints. The bonding agents differ in such a way that some can be painted directly on the old driveway concrete, while others can be added to the concrete compound. It is recommended to use both types if you want to extend the life of the patchwork.
Stamping or Pinning the Concrete Driveway — An expert can cut the damaged part of the driveway, where cracks are visible, and give it an almost-new finish. Alternatively, you can have a new concrete patch attached to the old one using a mechanical pin. This pin supplements the sealers, reinforcing the patchwork. Also, you can drill steel rods into the old concrete for added strengthening. This latter approach is inexpensive but gives you a solid reinforcing option. Paint the steel rods or pins with a metal primer before drilling them into the concrete. This way, you avoid the rust problem that can weaken the patch after a few years.
Finishing the Patchwork — Surface defects such as scaling, premature wear, cracking and mortar flaking can have grave implications for the repair work. When concrete bleed water (water that rises to the surface) emerges on the surface of the slab, do not trowel it. You should let the water evaporate lest you want surface defects that can weaken the concrete driveway repair work.