Paving For Fun

When & How to Patch Concrete

Do you have a bunch of cracks in your sidewalks? If you have cracks that are just small, you can probably just ignore them. Even if they don't look great, there is no effective way to fill cracks that are basically hairline fractures in your concrete.

When to Repair Cracks

Small concrete pressure cracks are extremely common. They can occur when the soil underneath the concrete slab shifts over time. They can even occur while the concrete is drying and curing when it is initially poured. Extreme temperatures changes and moisture can also cause small cracks. There are really no set rules for how big a crack needs to be before you can effectively repair it. However, it is a good idea to leave cracks that are less than 1/8" wide alone. That is, don't try to patch them, because the area is just too small for any crack filler to actually work.

But, if you have a crack that is wider than 1/8 of an inch, and the edges are actually starting to chip a crumble, you should probably patch it to stop the crack from getting any bigger. There is often not much you can do about cracks growing, especially if the soil underneath the slab is shifting a lot. If you have large trees growing next to your concrete, a small crack patch isn't going to do much as the root grows and dislodges the concrete.

If you just have small cracks that are cosmetic, and becoming a little bigger because of normal wear and tear, like cars driving over them, people walking on them, strollers, skateboards, bikes, and the like, you should fix them. A simple concrete patch can prevent the crack from getting any bigger.

Using Concrete Patch

One of the best things about concrete patch is that it is very cheap and easy to work with. Most concrete patch comes premixed in squeezable tubes or large tubs. The tubes are great for a few small cracks. If you have larger cracks and big voids or holes in your concrete, you should buy a tub so you have enough patch for the job.

In the end, the actual process for applying the crack filler is as simple as cleaning out the crack, applying the patch with a putty knife, and then scraping away the extra patch with the knife in order to leave behind a smooth, seamless patch.  

Do you have more questions about concrete? Contact companies like Arrow Blacktop & Masonry Inc.