Knowing Your Options for Concrete Repair

If your home's driveway is cracked or broken, you may not necessarily need to have an entirely new driveway poured. There are many options for concrete repair, either to fix chips and cracks or to just make the surface look new again. These can be more affordable and they can also be more eco-friendly, as they will mean less harvesting of new materials for concrete and also keeping old concrete out of landfills. Note a few options you might discuss with a contractor when it comes to repairing your home's concrete driveway.

1. Slab jacking

If your home's driveway is broken in one particular area, it may be that the soil underneath it is too soft to hold it up and support it properly. Slab jacking refers to actually jacking up that part of the driveway by pumping a mixture of sand, gravel, and other materials under the concrete. This not only raises it into position but it also makes the area under the concrete firmer and more able to support its weight. The top is then repaired with a filler material that is put into the remaining crack or break.

2. Resurfacing

When the surface of concrete has lots of small cracks and other such damage, you may simply be able to resurface it. This is when a type of concrete polymer, or concrete that is meant to adhere to other concrete, is added to the surface. The original surface of the concrete is cleaned and cracks are typically filled in with a sealer or filler, and then the concrete polymer is added over this. This new surface can be stronger than the old concrete and it easily covers those imperfections and repairs. It can then be buffed or painted if needed.

3. Grinding and polishing

As with sanding wood, concrete can be ground and then polished to help remove minor cracks and other flaws. Grinding can also remove old paint that may be chipped and cracked or that has simply faded. When concrete is ground, this provides a base that can hold an aggregate that may hide many imperfections. An aggregate is a material that gives texture to concrete, such as gravel or pebbles or even a soft glass.  Another option is to simply buff and polish the concrete back down to being level and smooth once it's been ground. This polishing can make it look very attractive so that you don't even need to add anything other than a sealant over the concrete.