How To Repair A Deep Crack In Your Driveway Using A Polymer Concrete Patch

A deeply cracked driveway can cause the slab to break and create a hazardous situation for pedestrians. When one side of the slab is much lower than the side opposite the crack, it can cause tripping and result in injuries for family members or guests. The good news is that repairing deep cracks in driveways is not a difficult process. Below is a step-by-step guide to repair as well as a list of necessary materials and tools:

What you will need

  • Polymer concrete dry mix

  • Margin trowel

  • Finishing trowel

  • Garden hose

  • 3-inch paintbrush

  • Duct tape

  • Five-gallon bucket

  • Electric drill with mixing paddle

  • Trisodium phosphate powder

  • Plastic scrub brush

Step-by-step procedure

1. Clean the crack and neighboring concrete - Before you begin patching the concrete, the crack and surrounding surface will need to be completely clean to permit proper adhesion of the patching material. If there are any oil, gasoline or other petroleum products present, then you must remove the contaminants using a degreasing solution. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is known for its degreasing properties, so mix a solution of TSP and water according to the manufacturer's directions and apply it to the crack and concrete surfaces. Scrub the area vigorously with a stiff-bristled plastic brush, then rinse the area clean with a garden hose.

In addition to removing chemical contaminants, direct the flow from your garden hose into the crack to flush out loose bits of concrete. Remove as much loose material as possible to provide a stable base of support for the repair.

2. Mask the area with duct tape - After cleaning the crack thoroughly and degreasing the concrete, the next step is to use duct tape to cordon off a section surrounding the crack. Apply long, parallel strips of duct tape along both sides of the crack and allow for approximately a total of 12 inches between the two strips. Be sure to press the duct tape firmly to the concrete to keep it in place until finished.

3. Apply concrete patch to the crack - Once the area is cleaned and taped off, it is ready for the application of concrete patch. Inside an empty five-gallon bucket, mix a bag of polymer cement with the appropriate amount of water as specified in the manufacturer's directions for use. Stir the cement with mixing paddle attached to your electric drill.

After the polymer concrete mix is mixed, scoop out enough to mix the full margin trowel and apply it to the inside of the crack. Push the material into the crevice deeply, as it is important to fill any voids to prevent crumbling or cracking in the future.

4. Spread the polymer cement around the exterior of the crack - When the crack has been filled, continue adding polymer concrete to the area around the crack in between the tape. Use the margin trowel to scoop concrete out of the bucket and quickly apply it.

Next, transition to a finishing trowel which is designed for adding the final touches to the repair job. Carefully pull the finishing trowel across the entire surface of the polymer cement patch to provide a smooth surface for the repair. Remove the duct tape barriers, then feather and blend the edges of the polymer cement into the surrounding concrete. Your goal should be to create a smooth, neat and transition-free edge that will look natural and also present no difficulty to walkers.

5. Finish the surface of the repair - The last thing to do is to use a damp three-inch paintbrush to smooth the repair material. Dip the paintbrush in a pan of warm water and lightly smooth out the polymer concrete. Allow the material to cure for a length of time equal or greater to that found in the directions provided by the manufacturer.

For more information about repairing a deep driveway crack, contact a company like Claggett & Sons Inc.