Concrete is known to be one of the currently most durable and long-lasting construction materials out there. However, no matter how tough and durable concrete may be, even if it is installed and maintained properly, it is inevitable that the material itself will erode, wear, and tear, eventually breaking on its own.
Of course, on that note, when concrete is not kept and maintained properly, some cracks are bound to appear on the concrete. This will become a major nuisance when you use it. Not only will it be structurally problematic with all the bumps on the ground, but it will also make the driveway unappealing. It is important to fix these concrete driveway cracks to improve both your home value and experience. However, to do so, you would first need to identify if and what the damages are.
Reasons For Concrete Repairs
There are tons of reasons why concrete driveways can get damaged. In fact, for all aspects, it is certainly better to let a professional assess and see if there are any problems with the driveway, as there can be some things that an average homeowner can easily miss. Hiring a professional concrete contractor will also be much more effective as they may already know the solution by just one look at the damage, making the process easier and eliminating possible mistakes.
Now for assessment of the actual damage to the concrete, it may get tricky as some damages may even apply just as the driveway is being installed. This is because installation errors such as improper water to concrete mix proportion may occur, or perhaps the concrete driveway might not have enough control joints. With this, cracks may appear after just a few years of being installed.
Even without those installment errors, concrete driveways will still get damaged over time. After installment, as the concrete slab starts to settle to the ground beneath, it will most likely develop more cracks. Apart from that, there are also a bunch of other outside factors that can damage the concrete. For example, one of the common enemies that newly poured driveways face is the nearby trees and bushes. This is because the vegetation’s roots can start growing under the driveway, thus, causing it to lift some of its portions, resulting in cracks.
Older driveways also deal with lots of issues, one of these is the heavy structural weights and loads that would undoubtedly tear the driveway. Although it is not guaranteed, it does greatly raises the possibility of cracks appearing. This especially applies in cases where the heavyweight of a vehicle is focused only on a small area. This is why some contractors recommend going for an inch thicker or more driveways if you have heavy vehicles.
Additionally, there are also some places in which your concrete slab may be prone to freeze and thaw cycles. In this case, water works its way into the cracks and freezes, expanding and crumbling just a little more of the concrete. In these sorts of conditions, there could be may thaw the next day, only to repeat the process again that night.
This cycle should be immediately stopped to minimize the damage to be done to the concrete slab. To minimize and potentially stop the damage to the concrete driveway, it is important to repair the cracks that are on the outdoor slab as well as the cracks that need to be filled. Although freeze and thaw cycles can be considered one of the most troublesome issues for concrete driveway cracks, there are several other problems.
Smaller dirt going through the concrete’s cracks can also be a problem, although it may not seem able to cause much damage, some vegetation would likely appear and grow in the dirt-filled cracks over some time.
As these plants and vegetation grow, it will cause more and more damage from the concrete crack no matter how small the plant may be. They will start crumbling and crack, making them bigger, and in turn, allowing larger plants to enter. In the end, it will turn into a cycle, repeating the process some more.