You probably know that you need to have concrete crack repairs as soon as possible when you start to see cracks in your driveway or garage -- but what type of repair will your concrete crack repair provider do for you? The answer is both simple and complex, all at once. In short, your concrete crack repair provider will typically recommend the simplest and easiest repair possible whilst still preserving the concrete for the long term. Here are the different types of concrete repair that you might be facing if you have cracks in your driveway or garage.
Sealcoating, which involves placing a thin but ultra-durable layer of sealant on top of the concrete, is recommended for nearly all driveways and garages. It's also commonly applied to asphalt in car parks. Sealcoating helps repel moisture from your concrete driveway or garage. It also prevents damaging UV rays from reaching the concrete and even helps keep the concrete from crumbling.
Sealcoating is sometimes the only concrete repair that's needed to fill in very small cracks -- the ones that don't require additional concrete injection. In many cases, concrete contractors install specialised contraction joints to help prevent random cracks in the concrete. Those joints may require separate concrete joint sealing themselves.
Small Crack Filling
When your driveway or garage has small cracks, whether it's a number of them or just a few, there is a good chance that your concrete contractor will recommend crack filling followed by seal coating. Crack filling involves the injection of a small quantity of concrete directly into the crack. The crack is then smoothed to make it level with the concrete around it, and the seal coating is applied to the repaired area (and the area nearby if need be.)
Large Crack Filling
If your concrete has a very large crack all the way across -- a block crack -- it can often be remedied with a new seal coating. In severe cases of block cracks, a new layer of concrete may be needed prior to the seal coating.
If your concrete has edge cracks (long vertical lines alongside the edges of your driveway,) the cracks must be filled using a more labour intensive process. A concrete emulsion can be injected into the edge cracks using a specialised tool, which will correct the edge cracks -- at least temporarily. However, edge cracks often result from problems like poor drainage so it's important that you correct the origin problem straight away to prevent the same problem in the future.
A New Layer of Concrete
A new layer of concrete may be needed if your concrete has crazing (fine tiny cracks clustered together.) Since the crazing doesn't go deep into the concrete, a fresh layer of concrete can often remedy the problem neatly. To protect the new concrete layer, your concrete contractor will likely recommend seal coating.
If your concrete needs correction, don't hesitate to call your local concrete contractor for help with one of the repair types above. Doing this repair now may save you money in the long term!