Concrete is a durable material that lasts for many years, if not even decades, before it needs replacing. However, the material does tend to crack or suffer splits and chips. When this happens, a homeowner can often make minor repairs on their own to protect the concrete from further damage. If you're a homeowner with a driveway that needs any type of minor fixing, note a few mistakes to avoid when tackling this job on your own to ensure your driveway is fully protected and in good repair.
Not minding the weather
Concrete patching compounds take quite a long time to properly cure, and if they're exposed to heavy rain or snow before they're properly cured, this can cause damage to the materials and keep them from drying properly. Note the time needed for curing on the packaging of any patching materials you use and ensure you choose a good time of the year to make repairs so your work isn't exposed to inclement weather. If you are faced with a sudden and unexpected rainstorm, use a concrete blanket or tarp to cover the materials and keep the repair job protected.
Not cleaning the damaged area
When you paint a surface of your home, you know to clean it properly since paint doesn't adhere to oils and greasy debris, and if dirt and dust should come away from a painted wall, it will take that fresh paint with it! In the same way, you need to thoroughly clean a cracked or damaged area of concrete before adding any filler, or the patching compound may simply come away from the concrete. This includes removing any weeds that have grown through the cracked area, as well as concrete dust and gravel.
Not putting in a sub-base
If you're going to be repairing a pothole or very large crack in a concrete driveway, you may need to install a sub-base. This refers to a layer of gravel or aggregate that is spread on the soil before a concrete driveway is poured. This aggregate keeps concrete in place, so it doesn't sink into the soil under it. If the crack or pothole to be repaired exposes the soil under the driveway, you may need this sub-base before you can add patching material or fresh concrete. If you're not sure of what material to use for this sub-base, check with a home improvement store, or have the damage repaired by a professional so you know the repair itself will last.
Contact a paving contractor to learn more about driveway repairs.