Concrete Driveway Repair

What is a Driveway? 

The drive way is a private road that permits the access for the locals residing in an around that region. These are owned by these locals or any individual. The driveways are pavement that does not take huge traffic , but in areas where the driveway is owned by a large commercial access, they are subjected to a heavy load. For examples: Parks, Business (Commercial ) Buildings etc. 

Fig.1: A Concrete Drive Way Construction
They unlike other pavement surfaces are not maintained by the government authority. These are special ways designed such a way to facilitate a clear pathway and architecture of a connected house or a building. 

What are the Materials Used For the Driveway Construction? 

Concrete, Decorative bricks, block pavers, asphalts , gravel , decomposed granite and cobblestone are some of the materials used in the construction of driveway. For heavy loads concrete and the asphalt driveway construction is carried. 

Repair of Concrete Driveway Defects 

Fig.2: Concrete Driveway Joint For Crack Control

There are different repair techniques employed for the rehabilitation of the concrete driveway. Based on the failure happened, different specific methods of repair can be carried. Compared with other driveway materials, concrete driveway is more advantageous and is easy to maintain. Their repairing is a cost effective choice. In certain conditions the replacement will also be the best choice. 

Different Defects and their repairing solution are mentioned below: 

Cracks in Concrete Driveway - Prevention and Crack Identification 

A good Concrete Pouring mix will reduce the susceptibility of driveway towards cracking. Proper curing once the pouring is complete has to be a primary concern. Covering the pavement with plastic sheet or any sort of curing compound will facilitate proper setting and good quality concrete structure. Sealer addition that are acrylic or resin based products will help to avoid the penetration of moisture and the air into the driveway. This also reduces the damage due to extreme weather. 

Cracks may be either due to structural ,shrinkage cracks or weather. The shrinkage cracks are seen on the surface. But the structural cracks are deep and wide in size. 

Concrete Crack Repair 

A hairline surface crack in the concrete driveway can be repaired with the help of cement, water and a putty knife. The area with crack and that has to filled is made wet with no standing water. With the help of putty knife, the thick mix of cement and water is applied to fill the crack. The initial wetting of crack was to prevent the absorption of moisture from the mix by the existing concrete area. By pushing the paste into the crack with no voids within, complete filling is carried out. The top is smoothed and finished with the knife. The area is covered with a plastic bag and let for curing for a week. Periodic watering as a part of curing can be carried out based on the propagation of the cracks 

Control of Cracks in Drive way Through Control Joints 

It's obvious that the concrete will crack at certain period of its service life, how small or big the crack be!!! Control of Crack is a best solution for this statement. Once such method is using control joints. 

Cutting a control joint say at a depth of 10 feet and installing an expansion joint about every 30 feet is a good practice. The control joint is a groove that is cut across a slab. This groove is almost one forth the thickness of the concrete driveway slab. The cutting of groove have a theory that " when a weak point is created in the slab, the critical load or conditions of heavy stress that is created will take their path through this line". 

The expansion joint will make use of a oil soaked fibrous material, this will separate one part of the slab from the other . During different seasons, the expansion and contraction of the whole slab takes place, that is facilitated by these expansion joints. The steps involved are explained below:

Step 1: The Surface where the expansion joint has to be provided in cleaned from debris. By using a commercial degreaser the oil stains can be removed. Brush the area will lift the dust and dirt which is later cleaned with clean water.(Figure-3 and 4)


Fig: 4

Step 2: After providing the groove, it is cleaned within inside from debris ( Fig:5)

Fig: 5
Step 3: With the time the material used in the expansion joint will break down (oil fibrous material). To prevent this, a sealer coat has to be applied. This will avoid the deterioration of the joint and the slab. A commercial grade urethane caulk is the best sealant that can be used. This have amazing flexibility and adhesion.

Fig: 6

Control of Cracks Through Isolation Joints

In addition to control joints, an isolation joint should be installed where the driveway meets a sidewalk, garage floor slab, and other existing pavements. Ask your contractor to provide a jointing plan as part of his written proposal.
Isolation joints are formed by placing preformed joint material next to the column or wall or standpipe prior to pouring the slab. Isolation joint material is typically asphalt-impregnated fiberboard, although plastic, cork, rubber, and neoprene are also available.
Isolation joint material should go all the way through the slab, starting at the sub base, but should not extend above the top.
For a cleaner looking isolation joint, the top part of the preformed filler can be cut off and the space filled with elastomeric sealant. Some proprietary joints come with removable caps to form this sealant reservoir.

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This is a center to bring up and collect all bits of knowledge and technologies flourished and flourishing to reach out for those who wish to acquire knowledge in a broader way. I am a structural engineer by profession and would like to share all information I have acquired all these years till date. This site also aims in researching new topics, works on your questionnaires and fill it up with good facts and information.

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