How to Patch or Resurface Your Cracked & Spalled Concrete Driveway

How to Repair A Spall or Cracked DrivewayFor those of you with garages at the forefront of your home, it’s safe to say a cracked and spalled driveway completely dampens curb appeal. And with such bipolar Indiana weather, it’s no wonder freeze-thaw conditions contribute so much to this. Depending on the cause of concrete driveway failure, there are solutions and ways to prevent unwanted defects.

What’s Causing Your Driveway to Fail?

The first step in repairing your driveway, is to determine what is causing it to fail.

If it is a stabilization issue, then unfortunately resurfacing won’t permanently fix the issue. The reason being, that when the foundation under placed concrete starts to deteriorate, there is a void created, which results in the concrete cracking and falling more than the concrete around it. You could level out the concrete temporarily, but if the concrete underneath the patch moves, then inevitably the patch will move with it. In essence, the concrete can’t support itself and falls through. The only solution if this is the case is to tear the driveway out and pour completely new concrete at full depth.

On the other hand, if you have concrete cracks or spalls not caused by a foundation issue, then there are a few easy approaches for remedying them….read on….

Preventing or Patching Concrete Spalls

Many driveways have spalls. Freeze-thaw in the winter and summer creates pop-outs when concrete contracts, then expands. This phenomenon pops pieces of concrete loose (hence the name), which result in what are known as spalls. A way of preventing this is to keep water from penetrating into the concrete to begin with. Concrete sealer can assist with this – you can purchase sealer here.

For repairing spalls, the first step is to use a pressure washer for cleaning them out, then clean them up with a hand grinder and wire wheel. After all the debris and loose bits of concrete are removed from each spall, you can fill in the voids with Concrete Resurfacer. Keep in mind, the color may not match exactly, but it will do the trick.

Leveling Your Driveway and Filling-In Cracks

If your main issue is concrete cracks (not caused by stabilization issues mind you), then you can also use Concrete Resurfacer to level the surface of your driveway. However, this is only recommended for use on substrates with 1/8″ or less difference in depth. On anything 1/4″ or greater, you can use Skim Coat.

Expert Advice

Our goal is to assist with any repair tricks and tips to keep your home happy and healthy, so please let us know if you have additional questions about this process. We have an entire concrete division as well, so be sure to check out our Runyon Surface Prep website for the full line of products.

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “How to Patch or Resurface Your Cracked & Spalled Concrete Driveway

  1. Thanks for the tips! There are so many cracks in my driveway that it’s starting to look like one of those salt flats. Filling in all of those cracks will take a lot of work, so I’m looking for a way to make it a little easier. I liked your tip to use some kind of concrete resurface to level the surface of my concrete before filling in all of those cracks. It seems like that should be pretty easy, but I’ll check if the substrates have a 1/8″ or less difference in depth in case I need to use a skim coat instead.

  2. I think I need some concrete sealer. It might be too late, but my driveway definitely goes through the freezing and thawing process. I’ll probably have to get it repaired before I can use the sealant.

  3. Great piece! I was trying to find some inspiration with what to write about concrete cracks and spalling when I came across this. I guess the right kind of sealer or concrete overlay method would do the job of not having to endure this kind of task often. Proves well, because I personally tried it with my driveway. I used a stamped concrete overlay for mine, and it really proves it’s worth.

  4. Thanks for sharing this piece!
    I had the same problem with my driveway so I hired a professional contractor to do the resurfacing for me. They used stamped concrete overlays. There was no need to tear out the existing slab so I was able to save more. It’s beautiful and durable. It really proves it’s worth.

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