Repairing Cracks in your Coloured Concrete Driveway

Although coloured concrete driveways are beautiful and enduring, providing gorgeous hardscaping views for a lifetime, they do still require occasional maintenance. Regular maintenance will allow you to inspect your driveway and notice if small cracks begin to appear. While most smaller cracks do not affect the integrity or durability of the concrete, they are an unwelcome blemish that can impact the concrete’s strength over time. The team at A Better Driveway are experts in concrete installation and repair and know the importance of identifying and repairing cracks early.

Act fast to repair cracks

Concrete is durable and everlasting, but tree roots, soil movement and the weather can cause cracks to form. These small cracks are unsightly and, if left untreated, can become larger with time. Ignoring cracks is a sure-fire way to ruin your driveway as it allows water to penetrate the surface and deteriorate the concrete. By responding to cracks in a timely manner, you can avoid irreparable damage and the resulting costs of removing the slab and pouring new concrete. Smaller cracks can be repaired using DIY methods, but larger or structural cracks will need professional expertise.

Identifying concrete cracks

Cracks can appear in a coloured concrete driveway due to poor weather conditions, insufficient concrete mix or insufficiently compacted subgrade. Identifying the kind of cracks that are appearing in your coloured concrete driveway will help to determine the source of the issue and ensure the integrity of the concrete is not compromised. There are many different types of cracks, some common driveway issues include:

  • Crazing — A common type of concrete crack, crazing appears as fine cracks in irregular hexagon patterns, similar to shattered glass, and occurs when the concrete dries too quickly. This is often due to temperature or humidity and it is an indicator of a poorly timed job and a costly mistake by bad concrete contractors
  • Plastic shrinkage concrete cracks — Due to moisture loss, plastic shrinkage cracks can occur. These long, shallow cracks are often a result of an excessively wet concrete mix. 
  • Expansion cracks — Concrete tends to expand with heat which can cause expansion cracks. Expansion joints are often inserted between concrete slabs and pavement to absorb pressure from heat expansion. 
  • Heaving cracks — This type of concrete crack also occurs due to extreme weather. Heaving cracks occur when concrete condenses due to colder temperatures and then attempts to return to its regular shape in warmer weather.  
  • Settling concrete cracks — These hairline cracks occur when the ground beneath the concrete settles or moves. This could be due to tree removal or pipeline replacement. 
  • Overloading cracks — These cracks occur when the concrete’s maximum pressure is exceeded by heavy vehicles. In residential areas, overloading cracks can also appear when the ground underneath becomes too soft and the concrete is pushed downwards with extreme pressure. 

The process of repairing crazing and hairline cracks at home

Repairing shallow, surface cracks is simple using caulk or crack filler, but the first step to repairing cracks in concrete driveways, walls or slabs is to prepare the surface. This involves cleaning the driveway of dust, grease and contaminants and removing any loose bits of concrete near the cracks. A power washer is a great method of ensuring all mould and dirt is removed to prepare for the curing and hardening process. Wait for the concrete to completely dry before adding filler to avoid pools of water within the cracks.

Once the coloured concrete driveway is dry, it is time to use the concrete filler or caulk. There are many types of fillers available, including textured or coloured products, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions and patch test the product in a small discrete corner of the driveway. Use a flat-edged trowel to work the mixture into the cracks and smooth the surface. Afterwards, leave the filler time to dry and bond with the concrete and be cautious not to walk upon or use the driveway during this time. Once the filler has had time to dry, it is time to resurface or seal the concrete driveway.

Larger or uneven concrete cracks

If the cracks are larger than crazing or hairline cracks, there may be structural issues that necessitate the services of a concrete contractor. If your cracks are larger than ¼ of an inch, filling them with caulk would only be a temporary fix. For uneven or deep cracks, the concrete surface may need to be completely removed and reinstalled. If you believe that the issue is more than superficial, minor cracks, turn to a trusted professional like the team at A Better Driveway.

Does your coloured concrete driveway need repair?

A Better Driveway is the trusted name in coloured concrete driveways, whether it be topical or integral. Our team is available for all premium concrete services including maintenance and repair. A Better Driveway has all the expert knowledge to help you realise your backyard renovation or concrete vision. Plus, all our high-quality installations come with a 5-year guarantee!  

To add value and street appeal by updating the finish of your coloured concrete driveway, contact us today by filling out our online enquiry form or calling on (03) 9308 6112.