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rfrick7@yahoo.c 04-18-2012 09:03 PM

How to repair a cracked driveway or walkway
1 Power wash & etch
2 Soap & water

3 Sand
4 Silicone
5 Patch compound
6 Sand
7 Paint or stain

Power washing a driveway is one of the most significant steps in any process revolving around cleansing and or repairing driveways; regardless if painting or applications of some type of sealant to the driveway is an anticipated job. The reasoning behind power washing is to remove small debris off of the driveway; debris that has the potential to hamper any anticipated home improvement driveway job.

Etching imposes the driveway to succumb to a cleansing process. It removes most bad elements that were unable to be removed during the power washing phase. Acetone embraces scores of versatile treatment methods. It retains the ability to have its characteristics exploited to remove stains as well as utilized for other cleaning methods.
Shy away from mixing an acid water solution too strong. If the acid mix is too strong, your nasal passages will definitely notice during inhalation. Only mix small amounts per each use; such as the ratio of 2 cups to 2 gallons of water. I moreover wear a mask, long gloves when doing anything with acetone. I prefer etching my driveway during the night time hours (2100 hours), limiting the possible exposure of the acetone fumes towards others. People existing within the reach of the acetone fumes whom are not wearing the proper protective equipment as stated above, will be forced to endure undue exposure stresses without justification from the acetone user.

Don’t be alarmed when smoke appears after applying the acid mix to a driveway. It is the chemical reaction occurring between the acetone and concrete. However, ensure not to be positioned downwind of the acid fumes; acquisition of a bad surprise will result. If, for some reason, the acid mix gets onto any part of your body, immediately rinse the mix off the infected body parts with soap and water. If you don’t, it will cause you to have bodily exposure to acid and could cause your body severe harm.

Although the acetone is diluted down with water, the acid will remain in the water. Therefore, soon after etching, mix a solution of soap and water in a different bucket. Use a lot of soap. The soap should be some type of liquid dish soap. Don’t use any chlorine based products. Soap such as dawn would be adequate enough. The soap will neutralize the acid that remains in the water. Just in case if animals and or children or anyone for that matter are curious about the water.

You don’t have to sand after etching; however it will aid you in the following steps. Sanding ensures that your driveway is as smooth as possible prior to applying the patching compound to the driveway.

When using silicone, ensure to use a thin layer, not too thin, but just enough to cover the cracks. Use a putty knife to spread the silicone; it will smooth out the silicone, making it flush with the driveway. The silicone has to be flush with the driveway, as much as possible.

Buy a weatherproof, sandable and paintable silicone grade. No matter what silicone brand you choose to buy, ensure that it is weatherproof and meant for outdoors. The sandable silicone is easier to work with. It doesn’t matter if the silicone is not sandable, you can still sand the regular grade of silicone just the same because once the crack is filled with silicone, and all that you are doing is smoothing the silicone flush with the driveway. You will see rips and tears with nonsandable silicone.

When applying patching compound, start at one end of the driveway and work your way back, applying the patching compound to the entire driveway. It will take you a very long and unnecessary amount of time attempting to search out and find all of the cracks on the driveway. Patching compound is a very versatile product. You can apply it to interior and exterior walls as well as driveways and it is sandable and paintable. I prefer patching compound over quikrete products because quikrete products are basically mortar, which means it is a porous product. Patching compound isn’t porous and will not retain water.

What I found with quikrete products was that quikrete products tend to crack no matter how many layers are applied and no matter what quikrete product is used. If you choose to use quikrete crack repair, apply a layer of silicone over the quikrete crack repair products then do your layer(s) of patching compound. That way you are assured that there will be no cracks. Even with patching compound, you may find cracks. That is because of the area that you applied it too. That means you must apply heavy layers on some areas of the driveway, while other areas of the driveway require thinner layers of patching compound. Although the weather proof patching compound holds up to water, it must cure. So if it is anticipated to rain in the same day and or the day after you apply it, don’t apply it. Although it doesn’t take long for patching compound to cure, it still takes a couple of days to fully cure.

There are many coloring agents on the market that will mix together with patching compound. So if you don’t want to paint or stain your driveway after applying the patching compound, you can buy the coloring agent.

Sanding patching compound ensures all cracks have been filled and removes any clumps. You will probably have clumps when first using patching compound, because you are unfamiliar with the product. When applying patching compound to a driveway, use a large sized putty knife and only get a small amount of the patching compound out of its bucket per each application. Use long and steady strokes when applying it; similar to painting. Also overlap the last line that you just applied. That way you have a greater chance of filling all of the cracks. Patching compound dries out rather quickly, so keep a cup of water nearby. Add more water to the bucket for smaller cracks, that way it won’t spread on too thick. For the larger cracks, spread the patching compound on thick. Don’t add too much water to the bucket of patching compound when stirring it; only add a small amount of water. You will see what I mean. You don’t want the patching compound to be too watered down, only a little bit. Also, stir the patching compound until it is like a smooth cream, similar in texture to that of frozen yogurt.

The choice in the grit of the sandpaper is vital. I chose to use 40 grit when initially sanding the driveway prior to applying the patching compound. When I am sanding the patching compound, I still choose a 40 grit grade of sand paper; however I will additionally use an 80 grit grade as well. The reason why I use the grit grade mix is to ensure that I completely smooth the patching compound down, flush with the driveway. That is what you want. You don’t want to see only the patching compound on the driveway. You also want to have the tops of the pores of the driveway to appear as well. That way your driveway will appear as a solid piece of concrete, not appear only porous. Concrete has small pores, and when using the patching compound you are only filling in the sides of the patching compound.

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rfrick7@yahoo.c 04-24-2012 08:35 PM


concretemasonry 04-24-2012 09:45 PM

The most important thing to address is what is the problem with driveway and does it need a major detailed rehab. Perhaps a total replacement might be a better solution if the repair costs and estimate surviving life is not long enough or fit in with future plans.

A Bobcat and dump truck can do wonders and allow an economical solution to the previous construction errors and design errors since it may be easier to do it right instead of re-invent the wheel.


rfrick7@yahoo.c 04-27-2012 12:03 AM

The post that I submitted on diy is geared to repairing cracks. Yes, you are right, if the concrete of the driveway has extensive damage, such as the driveway is sinking in, then your reply would be a good idea. However, for mere cracks, the cost difference between breaking up the driveway with a bobcat or similar machines to fix a simple crack is a significant monetary exchange. I don't forsee someone spending the money and time to break up their driveway when they could just follow the steps that I have posted. The main focus that my how to guide offers, is one way of how to repair a crack correctly. If you want to spend the unnecessary money on replacing your driveway when all that it required was a little bit of effort and money, go ahead, it's your money and time. However, many diy people as well as contractors and builders and who ever else forsee saving money, even though it might take a little bit of effort, will choose the most inexpensive route possible. My how to guide isn't difficult. It only takes a little bit of effort on the person that may choose to use my suggestions. The main question that I have for you is when do you plan on weatherproofing your driveway after you have busted it up with a bobcat and repoured the concrete. As you will read from my post, what I am doing is repairing cracks and also closing all of the cracks and pores in the concrete of the driveway to prevent the driveway from getting even more cracks, because that is ofcourse the focus of any home owner or business owner, to do the job right the first time, that way the person doesn't have to do the job a second, third or more times down the road. How many times after you redo your driveway will you finally realize that you have spent thousands of dollars on busting up the concrete and repouring the driveway every time you got a crack in it? As anyone who lays driveways know, is that concrete does crack unless you waterproof it. If you don't waterproof the driveway then you will be continuously rebusting up and relaying the driveway year after year until either you are buried or move, because it is going to crack unless it is waterproofed. Weather such as rain and snow and cold and hot temperatures are the factors that cause cracks in driveways. Therefore, I suggest you can either take my suggestion or not. It's your choice. However, I strongly urge you to take my suggestion, it will save you money in the long run. My how to guide is a one shot deal, no more year after year having to place focus on the cracks or worrying about when the driveway is going to crack. That way you can focus your attention on other areas that are in need, such as landscaping or whatever else needs repair. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to keep redoing the same job over and over and over again when I could have done it right the first time around.

rfrick7@yahoo.c 04-28-2012 03:07 AM


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