A concrete driveway can last for years. However, various conditions, including the use of a wrongly compacted subgrade, insufficient concrete mixture, exposure to harsh weather elements, and wrong placement procedures, can reduce its lifespan and lead to unattractive cracking, scaling, or discoloration. Instead of removing the entire old slab and starting from scratch, you can save time and money by renovating the driveway if the concrete is in the proper condition.
If you doubt your driveway structure’s soundness, you can hire Orlando Stamped Concrete Company professionals to evaluate its condition and give you repair recommendations. If you think your driveway has reached its end, this article shows you how you can easily give it a second chance:
Tools and Materials Required For Concrete Driveway Repair
When working with raw concrete, you will require the following tools. Ensure you arrange them before you start your project.
- Gloves– Concrete mix contains compounds that can harm you if your skin comes into contact with it for long periods. Rubber gloves will protect you from concrete burns. You might have one already from the time you installed that mirror in your bathroom.
- Wheelbarrows– Wheelbarrows will help you transport small amounts of the concrete mixture around the driveway. You can also use them to transport waste, tools, and samples.
- Work-boots– Since concrete is stiff, it can damage standard boots. Ensure you wear waterproof rubber boots to safeguard your feet.
- Shovels– You cannot do any concrete job without a shovel. Shovels will help you fill concrete in the damaged areas, fill wheelbarrows, mix concrete and remove spills.
- Digging bars– Digging bars will help you break hard grounds or create bigger gaps in the damaged driveway sections.
- Buckets– You will mix your concrete in a bucket.
- Squeegee or trowel – A squeegee or trowel will help you level concrete mix after pouring.
- Brooms– Brooms are necessary to eliminate dirt and debris before you start working on your driveway.
Steps to Prepare a Concrete Driveway for Repair
To repair your concrete driveway effectively, follow the steps below:
1. Clean the impaired area
Before applying the new concrete mix, you need to prepare the old surface to ensure the renewing layer will adhere to it properly. Begin by removing oil, mildew, mold, dirt, and loose particles with a pressure washer (Note that you can hire a pressure washer from your local outlets if you do not have one). After eliminating the dirt, get a deck crawler for sale to remove rust from concrete.
After you have cleaned your driveway, do a thorough inspection of large cracks or deeply spalled sections and repair the affected areas using a patching compound. Lastly, water your driveway until it becomes saturated, then remove the stagnant water using a broom. By doing so, your slab will cool down, and you will prevent the mixing water from evaporating from the concrete resurfacer when you lay it down. On a side note, remember to invest in a solid water filter that removes fluoride to ensure constant access to clean and safe water at home.
2. Mix your concrete to a thick consistency
In many cases, hand-mixing produces a concrete mixture with lumps. Thus, it is recommended you use a power drill fitted with a paddle mixer instead of a barrel-type attachment to make your work easier. Since mixing concrete is not as easy as you would expect, you will have to find a helper. First, pour 3½ quarts of water into a 5-gallon bucket. Second, while you use the mixing paddle in the bucket, ask your assistant to add the resurfacer slowly. Continue mixing for about five minutes after adding all the resurfacer. Stop mixing when you get a lump-free, cookie dough-like consistency. If your mixture appears too thick, add some water and if too thin, add more resurfacer. As you mix, your helper can fill your driveway’s expansion joints with weather stripping to ensure the resurfacer does not fill them.
3. Pour the concrete mixture on cracks
If you are working on a big driveway, it is advisable to divide it into sections- mixing and applying the mixture to one area (not bigger than 144 square feet) at a time. Once it is ready, pour the concrete mixture on the cracks and damaged areas in strips about 0.5 meters wide. Using a long-handled squeegee, spread the concrete mixture forth and back across the driveway, thoroughly scrubbing it into the concrete, and then allow it to settle for about five minutes. Besides, you can use the trowel to smooth the surface and eliminate excess concrete.
4. Give your repaired concrete driveway time to dry
In mild weather, the concrete dries on its own, requiring no additional steps. On the contrary, when it’s hot, above 90 degrees, mist the driveway recurrently for up to two days after application.
5. Mix resurfacer
Once you complete the repair work, you will apply a thin layer of resurfacer concrete over the whole driveway. Prepare the mixture much lighter than the concrete mix you used to repair the damaged areas-the consistency should be similar to that of pancake batter. Before you apply it, clean the driveway to remove any debris, and then hose down the driveway to prevent the concrete from drying.
Once the driveway gets ready, pour the mixture and spread it with a rubber squeegee. Ensure you work on a small area at a time. After the concrete starts to set, use a broom with an extended handle to give the surface a relatively rough texture. This texture inhibits the driveway from getting slippery when wet. To get a uniform appearance, run the broom continuously across the work area and ensure you make every broom stroke in the same direction. Wait for six hours to walk on the driveway and 24 hours or so before you drive or park over it.
Repairing any cracks as they occur is the best way to increase the lifespan of your driveway and keep it functional. While concrete driveway repair is not different from other concrete repairs, with the right materials, equipment, and patience, you can repair your concrete driveway on your own. Following the steps discussed above will help you renew your concrete driveway and give it a fresh start along with the fresh start to your movie list.
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