Concrete is a great material to use for driveways and patios since it is durable and long-lasting. However, that doesn't mean over time it won't have the occasional damage. Cracks tend to be the most common damage, which are even more common if you don't have the concrete sealed on a regular basis. Here are some tips for concrete repair.

Determine the Size of Crack

The first thing you need to do before you repair the crack is determine the size of the crack. This is because narrow cracks are repaired slightly differently from wide cracks. If you have a narrow crack, all you need to do is clean it out, add the filler, then wait for it to seal. With a wide crack, you actually make it wider first, then begin filling it. If you have a wide crack, take a chisel to make it a little wider so you can get access into it, and also to get cleaner edges around the crack.

Clean Out the Crack Thoroughly

Either way you go, the crack and area around the crack needs to be cleaned. If there is any debris in the crack, do what you can to remove it. This might require using an old toothbrush, long pair of tweezers, or even using a blower to get the debris out. Also make sure all dirt buildup is out of the crack, as well as removing weeds growing between the cracks. Once that is done, sweep the area around the crack so no dirt gets back inside during the repairing process.

Let the Filler Dry Completely

After clearing out the cracks, you are going to take concrete filler compound and add it to the crack. Follow the directions on the package so you know if mixing needs to be done and how to apply it. This should be a fairly easy process, simply filling the crack until it reaches the top surface of the concrete, then using a squeegee to even it out. It is important that you give it plenty of time to dry, so try to do the repair on a day where you don't expect a lot of rain or cold weather. This could cause the curing process to take a bit longer.

Seal the Concrete Afterwards

To avoid more cracks from forming, clean the entire concrete surface after the repairs are done, by sweeping and using a hose. Once clean, you can then apply a concrete sealer, starting at one corner and moving along the concrete one small section at a time. The sealer provides an extra protective surface on the concrete to reduce further damage.