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Old 03-29-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair


Last week, we decided to paint our bare concrete driveway with H&C Colortop Solvent-based Solid Color Stain & Sealer. It's a xylene based penetrating stain / paint from Sherwin-Williams.

Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair-img_1920.jpg


To get a jump start on the project, I hired someone to pressure wash the driveway. He insisted that I also allow him to caulk some of the cracks in the driveway with concrete sealer / caulk. This is the product he used:

Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair-img_0027.jpg

We waited a full 24 hours+ for the caulk to cure, and then painted. Sadly, I think the guy used way too much caulk, and did not do a good job washing away excess from the sides of the cracks. This resulted in some obvious raised areas, and worse, tons of large, horrible looking bubbles:

Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair-img_1919.jpg

Some of the cracks are not too bad. We found that mixing some sand in with the paint can help in hiding them. But for the cracks where we have this kind of bubbling, I'm at a loss.

The caulk did not setup hard or even firm. It's like bubblegum. I have a sinking feeling that it was the absolute wrong product to use for this application, or that it is incompatible with oil-based paints. I can't imagine it will hold up to vehicle traffic and Florida summers.

What do I do here? Try to strip the paint, remove the caulk and just repaint it? How would I even do that? A grinder? A gel stripper? Just live with the bubbles? Pop them and paint over their craters?

Any advice is much appreciated!

Jay
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair


caulk is obviously the wrong material,,, should have used a joint sealant,,, to properly seal cracks, a reservoir must 1st be present,,, this is usually done by diamond sawing the crack to a depth of 1/2" using a 4" grinder & 4"x.5" diamond blade,,, after sawing, clean the sidewalls, apply 3/8" tape to the crack's BOTTOM, & seal appropriately (no thicker than 3/8"),,, be advised its impossible to disguise crks, tho

find a conc repair materials supplier & forget the apron/vest/sher-wms stores

think the bubbles are caused by excess wtr migrating to the top - wet runs to dry as cold runs to heat

you have a mess on your hands but its resolvable if you want,,, how did you apply H&C ? 18" roller undiluted ? backpack sprayer for 2 diluted coats ?

Last edited by stadry; 04-05-2017 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair


Hi stadry,

Thank you for your reply. That all makes perfect sense. In the end, I found someone to sandblast the bubbled paint and caulk away for a couple hundred bucks, and we just repainted those areas -- yes, using an 18" roller, undiluted. The cracks are obviously still there, but they're a lot easier on the eyes now. I was never that hung up on completely fixing them.

Lesson learned!
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: Concrete driveway: caulk removal from fresh repair


there's a reason cracks need repair,,, many time they're a result of an insufficient joint pattern - heavy loads can also cause them,,, what happens is the driveway installer made the slabs too large & the concrete cracked in accordance with tension stress,,, usually they become 'joints' in effect - opening & closing in direct proportion to temperature changes ( remember high school physics ? )

properly sealing the cracks will keep out incompressibles & water which lead to concrete spalling & base washout/softening

now that you know, there'll be no excuse the next time good luck !
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