(BPT) - If you have a concrete driveway, walkway, patio or other area on your property, you know that cracks can happen. Reasons vary, but the most common causes of cracks include temperature changes, ground movement, improperly placed joints and excessive loads. As seasons change and spring emerges across the country, many homeowners are surprised to discover cracks that formed during the cold weather. This is even more prevalent as many parts of the country are experiencing record precipitation.
Repeated freezing and thawing that occurs due to temperature fluctuation through the day during the cold weather months can cause concrete to crack and flake. When rain, snow or ice migrates through cracks in concrete and saturates the underlying substrate layer, the concrete will shift and move every time freezing and thawing occurs. Even if you live in an area that doesn't experience frequent freezes, the water that enters cracks can erode the concrete, leading to crack expansion.
Concrete is a strong material that is an upscale addition to a home, so you want to maintain it for as long as possible. If you notice a crack, it's important to repair it, and spring is the ideal time to do so. Fortunately, there is a simple and inexpensive way to repair and seal unwanted cracks that helps improve the integrity of the concrete while also enhancing the visual appeal.
Make crack repairs with a textured single-component, fast-curing, durable material like Quikrete Advanced Polymer Concrete Crack Sealant. This special non-sag material is flexible so that no matter how the concrete surface shifts in the future, the repair will stay intact and help prevent the crack from expanding. Not to mention, the textured formula blends well with existing concrete to eliminate unsightly cracks for a more appealing appearance.
Follow these simple steps to repair vertical or horizontal concrete cracks at home, provided by the experts at Quikrete. Note: Always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves when working with polymer sealant and work in a well-ventilated area.
Step 1: Widen the crack to a minimum of 1/4 inch using a chisel and hammer. The edges of the crack should be vertical or beveled in an inverted “V”, and remove loose material with a brush.
Step 2: Cut the tip of the nozzle of the polymer concrete crack sealant on an angle with a utility knife to match the width of the crack and load into a standard caulk gun.
Step 3: Consider applying masking tape to both sides of the crack to create a clean, consistent repair.
Step 4: Slowly draw the gun along the joint, forcing a bead of polymer concrete crack sealant deep into the crack.
Step 5: Remove excess material with a trowel immediately after placement and a plastic spoon or putty knife can be used to smooth the surface.
As entertaining season approaches, you'll be glad you repaired the concrete spaces on your property. Friends and family who visit will enjoy your outdoor spaces and you'll be proud to show off your home. For more tips, directions and information, including how-to videos, visit Quikrete.com.