Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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How to Repair Cracks and Resurface a Concrete Driveway


Most driveways and patios develop a crack or two in the concrete over the years. Rather than breaking up the slab and pouring a new one, you might want to consider repairing it using a concrete resurfacer. Watch this video to find out how. ...More




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How to Repair Cracks and Resurface a Concrete Driveway

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Most driveways and patios develop a crack or two in the concrete over the years. These can be caused by everything from tree roots and movement of the soil to freezing and thawing cycles in the winter. Rather than breaking up the slab and pouring a new one, you might want to consider repairing it using Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer.

cracks in concrete

Start by using a pressure washer to remove any mold, mildew, and dirt. After wetting down the slab, a special masonry cleaning solution is added to the reservoir on the pressure washer and sprayed on the surface.

pressure washer

Once the cleaner has been applied, a high pressure nozzle is attached to the washer and the surface is thoroughly cleaned. Be sure to clean out the cracks out as well, removing any dirt or loose concrete so the patching material will adhere to the concrete.

high pressure nozzle

Next, mix up enough Quikrete® Concrete Resurfacer with water in a five-gallon bucket to fill the cracks.

Quikrete® Concrete Resurfacer

A mixing paddle chucked in a ½” drill makes preparing the patching material easy.

thick concrete poured in cracks

Make the mixture a thick consistency, and pour in on the cracks.

concrete smoothed over cracks

Use a flat edge trowel to force the mixture deep into the cracks.

rubber squeegee

Then smooth out the surface.

resurfacer

After allowing the material to dry overnight, a much thinner batch of resurfacer is mixed up. Before applying it, wet the concrete down to prevent it from drying out too quickly.

Once everything is ready, the resurfacer is spread on the slab using a rubber squeegee. Getting a nice even coat without lap mark can take a bit of practice.

concrete resurfacer

When the resurfacer starts to set up, a broom with an extended handle can be used to give the fresh concrete surface texture and prevent it from becoming slippery when wet.

The resurfacer can handle foot traffic after it has set up for about six hours, and cars can drive on it once it has cured for 24 hours. It really made this patio look new again with a whole lot less work than pouring a new slab.



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61 Comments on “How to Repair Cracks and Resurface a Concrete Driveway”

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  1. DEE VANCE Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 6:37 am

    YOUR ANSWER TO WHAT HARD WATER WAS, O.K.,BUT
    HOW A WATER SOFENER WORKED,UNTRUTHFUL. THE WATER IS NOT FILTERED THRU SALT TABLETS, IF IT WERE IT WOULD BE FAR SALTIER THAN THE OCEAN AND KILL YOU.
    BACK-FLUSHING WITH SALT WATER FLUSHES OUT THE HARD MINERALS AND RE-IONIZES THE FILTER MATERIAL TO ATTRACT THE CALCIUM & MAGNEZIUM.

  2. JULIO KRIKORIAN Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    HOW I FIX POP CORN CEILING?

  3. robert gervaia Says:
    June 4th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I have areas of concrete garage floor which has settled up to 2 inches in places and is also cracked. Is there a product I can purchase to bring the floor level and at the same time repair cracks?

  4. Cecelia Lightner Says:
    June 16th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Our concrete driveway is in need of repair and some damaged areas are wider than what could be termed a “cracks” — more like a shallow hole and the gravel that lies just under the cement surface is exposed. Can we still use the procedures for “cracked” concrete or do we need to remove large sections of concrete and start from scratch.

  5. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 19th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Cecelia,
    I’d fill larger holes with a standard concrete mix, troweling it level with the surface. Once it’s set, you could go over the entire area with resurfacer if you wanted it to all have the same texture and color.

  6. Lorraine Yaccarino Says:
    June 21st, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I see a crack down the center of my garage floor which shows a line of water and another wet line across my garage floor (which in concrete). How can I fix this problem. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this wetness after a wind driven rain storm.

    Thank you.
    Lorraine

  7. Willie Manning Says:
    August 17th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Just looked over repairing cracks in a concrete driveway. Thanks!!! I was afraid I would have to live with these because I couldn’t afford to replace the driveway.

    Danny, you and your show are truly consumer advocates!

    Willie

  8. Lin Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Danny, we have a wall builtin oven and cannot grow the space. Is there any place we can find a 23 or 24W by 25H (greatest length we can go) oven? Help us please since we have no other way to go.
    Thanks.
    Lin

  9. john minarchick Says:
    October 4th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I have large cracks in my driveway. Can I use just use the quikrete to fill the crack,without resurfing the whole slab? Will it expand with the winter frosts? thank you john

  10. Cecil Says:
    October 24th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Last year I hired workers to pour a concrete patio, which bumped up to an existing sidewalk. I questioned them as to whether they should breakup the sidewalk and they said, not necessary. Now I have a huge crack in the patio which follows the line of the sidewalk. Is there anything I can do other than start over?

  11. Ron Hill Says:
    November 4th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Danny – I have a concrete driveway that has an exposed aggregate finsh. Cracks have developed and I would like to fill them without covering the entire surface as shown in your video.

    Thanks for your help

  12. pat walbroehl Says:
    November 8th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    What do you do about concrete floor inside the garage that over time has become pitted in small areas and foams during the winter months. How do you fix?

  13. Kathy Bokuniewicz Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I have a concrete driveway that has a California style to it, when it snows the smooth part of the design gets very slippery, what can I do to prevent this. I would like to take care of the driveway come Spring. Is there some kind of compound that could be mixed and brushed on, like a sand mixture or something to that effect. Thank you.

  14. Bill Says:
    January 29th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I have several small cracks and indenations in my garage floor cracks appox. 1/4″ wide by 4″ deep, same thing in my drive way across my driveway appox.feet from street you can see the gravel, any suggestions or help. THANK YOU

  15. Don Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I have a crack in my concrete wall in my basement of my house. It is approx. 12 inches from the floor of the basement. Orginally thought I didn’t have my roof gutter drains far enough from the house. I did the extend down spout away from house. Thought this was solutions until this winter we discover more water on floor in basement. Then we removed wallboard in basement and found this leak in concrete wall. Can this fixed without digging up ground on the outside of the house. Can you help? Is there any responibility for contractor? House is 15 years old.

  16. Cherie Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I had a new concrete driveway poured about a month ago. I had decorative diamond shaped pattern,trowel cut into the driveway. The finishers made all the lines deep, like control joints, and many of them have large cracks inside, from uneven smoothing / back smoothing, with the V-tool, which caused some of the concrete to lift within the joints. I want to fill the internal cracks within the joints. What should I use?

  17. Becky Says:
    March 11th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Our patio is made with exposed aggregate concrete. We would like to cover with stone tiles, but how do we prep the existing concrete? I assume it will have to be leveled, but I’m not sure what route to go with this.

  18. Bob Harbinson Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I used the driveway coating on my concrete drive and it came out in uneven grey colors. Can you tell what can I do to make it a uniform color.

    Thank you,
    Bob

  19. godwin Says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 11:57 am

    my house is about 7 years old and now there is a big hole underneath my drive way this came as a result of my house settling down because my house was build on a basement slab and now rain has continue to wash the dirt that was use to fill the driveway.the hole is so big that from one end you can see thru the other end.how do i fix this mess

  20. danny Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I have a long concrete drive way, but it is section out
    10″X16” the drive way starts to sink down about 1 inch lower than the other section. I called one small drive way repair company over to do estimate, they said they are able to level by jack up lower section and then pour down more dirt and concrete…. Is it possible to do this or better bust off this section and redo new concrete??

  21. Anne Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    My concrete driveway has 4″-5″ cracks where I am constantly sweeping the stones out. There is an area that is approx. 1 foot square that has no concrete remaining at all, just dirt. Also halfways down the driveway, just past the main sidewalk that has sunk in the middle, about 1 foot area.
    I understand the cracks can be repaired, but what about the other problems.
    Please advise.

  22. larry waring Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Danny
    I just had a concrete pad poured for my garage 24 X 29
    the guys were paid but upon inspection the pad is very rough and when i drive on it pebbles keep braking loose
    leaving little holes an ongoing problem will resurfacing help me

  23. paul thompson Says:
    November 19th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    hello..i got a concrete driveway put in last year..am not happy with the finsh..what you think i should put on it to get a better finsh..but i dont want it any higher…hope you can help…thank you..paul

  24. Phil Huether Says:
    December 3rd, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I have a sloping concrete driveway that has a large (up to 3/4″) crack the entire width. I can see inside with a flashlight that it’s almost a foot deep in parts (rain has been slowly washing out from under it), and up to five or six inches wide (the cavity).

    1) What can I use to fill in such a large cavity (expanding foam?), and then,

    2) what topping-off patching should I use (to finish it off)?

    Thanks very much

  25. catherine haggquist Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I have a garage floor that needs something easy and reasonable to put down on the floor. please advise me. thank you cathy haggquist

  26. Wayne McAllister Says:
    March 26th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I see a lot of comments submitted and many of the comments are really questions but I see very few answers on the website from the professtional. Plesse put the answers to the questions so we can all learn. Thank you, Wayne

  27. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Hi Wayne,
    Thank you for your interest in our website. The space under each article is reserved for comments visitors to the site would like to post. These can be general comments, feedback about the article, questions about the topic, or answers to questions posted by other visitors or members. While it’s not possible for Danny and the Today’s Homeowner staff to respond personally to the thousands of comments posted on our site, we try to help out when we can with over 500 answers posted on the site to date.

  28. ROGERBOUGHER Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I HAVE A DRIVEWAY DAMAGED A FEW YEARS AGO DUE TO SALT PUT ON IT DURING THE WINTER. THE SURFACE HAS ERODED IN SPOTS. ARE THERE ANY SOLUTIONS TO THIS PROBLEM SHORT OF PUTTING IN A NEW DRIVE?
    THANKS

  29. Jim Says:
    April 3rd, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I had my concrete drive spraycreted about 4 years ago, the then painted it with a xylene based stain. I went over it last year to change the color with a xylene based stain and it bubbled. I have 2 questions. #1 when i pressure wash to try to get the stain off in order to repaint the drive it is actually taking up the top surface of the concrete thus leaving it kinda pitted. Wat can I use to patch the drive in order to smooth it out to repaint? #2 Can I use the same patch over the xylene based stain without pressure washing the concrete and causing it to pit? Will the patch stick over the xylene?

  30. Lou Says:
    April 17th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I poured a concrete slab 30×36. It got away from me and the other guy and dried uneven with alot of dips and knotches. I used a grinder and it’s mostly level but the gravel is exposed in places and it still has some half inch low points. What are my options so I can end up with a good and even surface on my slab

  31. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    April 19th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Hi Lou,
    You can apply liquid floor leveling compound to your concrete slab to fill in the low spots. Watch our video on How to Level a Subfloor to find out how.

  32. Dinah Bearden Says:
    May 9th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Danny,

    How well does this thin layer of concrete hold up on a driveway? It seems like it would break up rather quickly.

    Thanks

  33. David C. Says:
    May 16th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I need to pour a small addition of concrete (3′ x 4′) on the side of my driveway. I plan to dig away the grass and dirt, and frame it in before pouring the concrete. My question: How deep do you recommend and do you recommend packing it first with gravel or sand — or both. Any particular concrete you recommend? Thank you.

  34. George Morris Says:
    June 8th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I would have to agree with Wayne McAllister. Looks to me like 99% of what’s on here are people with a problem with no help at all from a web site that saids “Expert Advice on Home Improvement”. So I need some help, but I guess there’s no sense asking the question because I don,t think all the people on here want to read about mine too.
    Thank You.
    George

  35. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 8th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    George,
    We’ve answered over 800 questions on our site to date, so I guess you’ll never know unless you ask!

  36. George Morris Says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Gee
    answered back faster then I thought. didn’t think you would say anything.
    any way, is there a way to send a picture of whats wrong to help explain the problem?

    thanks
    george

  37. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    George,
    You can e-mail a photo to me at ben@dannylipford.com

  38. Alberta Says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    So where can you find this resurfacer. I have checked Home Depot. Please advise. Thanks.

  39. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 11th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hi Alberta,
    Inventory at home centers can vary regionally, but I checked and Home Depot had it in stock locally in my area (Mobile, AL). If it’s not a stock item in your area, ask if they can special order it for you. Good luck with your project!

  40. Jo Johnson Says:
    June 20th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    We resurfaced our concrete patio using RESTORE CONCRETE purchased at Ace Hardware–2 gallons per box covering 10 sq ft. It was easy but time consuming. Please with the results and cracks are hidden.

  41. Jeff Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I had a patio poured about 5 weeks ago. The contractor who poured it underestimated the amount of concrete he needed for the job. He had to order more from the mixer truck, but it took over an hour for the truck to return. By that time the concrete already poured was unworkable (it was 100 degrees out). When they poured the new batch, they couldn’t get it even with the old, so there’s a horrible looking overlap now. His solution is to come out and put a thin-set layer over the top. My concern is this will chip and break off after a couple of years. Is my concern valid? Wouldn’t the proper thing to do is jackhammer the uneven section and pour a new slab?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  42. Ryan Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    My driveway has begun to chip and pit due to using salt during the winter. I want to do the repairs myself if possible (due to cost), but I want to ensure that the solution will last for several years to come. My question is how long does the Quikrete Resurface generally last before it will need additional reconditioning? Also, after resurfacing, is it recommended to use some kind of water sealer to keep it from pitting in the future? If so, are there any products that you recommend?

  43. M. Bosco Says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    ‘Danny’,
    on 11/4/08 Ron Hill asked how to repair cracks in an exposed aggregate driveway… I am having the same issues and would like to know if you have any insight how one might rectify this situation (without shelling out the 8 grand I’ve been quoted for replacement)… please help… thank you,

  44. darl Says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I HAVE A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY 22 X 44 ITS ABOUT 30 YEARS OLD I HAVE CRACKS, SOME SMALL, SOME QUARTER INCH WIDE. I WANT TO RESURFACE THE ENTIRE DRIVEWAY THAT LOOKS LIKE CONCRETE WHEN FINISHED….1″ THICK OR MORE. WHAT IS THE BEST PRODUCE TO USE–LEAST COSTLY TO DO THIS BIG SURFACE D.I.Y. I LIVE IN TOPEKA KS WEATHER GETS EXTREME HOT/COLD. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP AND PRODUCT INFORMATION.

  45. Harold Douglas Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I have a driveway where one panel {12′ x 12′} has broken in the middle on the right side, and has sunk about 12″ below the original level. On the far outer left the edge of the panel is raised up about 3″ above original level. I thought about hiring a cantractor to replace the whole panel, but can’t afford the quote. I am up to the challenge of repairing it, but is this kind of damage repairable? I mean, could this involve the underlying subsoil, or do you think that I concrete filling could work?

  46. jane Says:
    October 24th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I have an office building that has cracks in the concrete porch area. Can this technique be done without needing to raise the thresholds of the doors that are adjacent to this surface. Will this resurfaced area crack? What is your experience? thank you.

  47. Joe Says:
    November 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Hi, I need to repair an area of concrete that is about 1 ” low and water develops and in the winter it can be very dangerous when it freezes. I plain to clean the area and fill in some cracks and use Portland cement as a first layer so that the concrete mix will adhere to it better . Will this work ?Thank you

  48. Alan Says:
    December 4th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I have several long hairline cracks in my driveway. Nothing bigger than a centimeter. Should i worry about these or try to use a concrete crack filler? Thanks.

  49. Simon Richard Says:
    March 6th, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Hi, I have a concrete yard which over the years has become pitted by the use of salt. We are talking of about 100metres by 50 metres. What would you suggest as the best possible course of action. We use forklifts and 10t lorries on it.

  50. kendall Says:
    May 22nd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Can we use the same procedure you used to fix the cracks on the driveway, on a pool deck? Also, I would like to resurface our patio using the procedure above, (make for a cleaner look) can I just go over the lines that were originally/intentionally created in the patio? How should I handle?

  51. Frank LADE Says:
    June 14th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Your how to resurfacing driveway is very good.

    How long does the resurfaced driveway last,ie. in years, and is the Quickrete Concrete resurfacer the best product?

    Are there any other recommended resurfacing agents and do you recommend sealing the new surface with any waterborne masonry sealers?

  52. Bryan Says:
    July 3rd, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    A year ago I paid a contractor to cement my backyard. Immediately after contractor poured the cement down, it rained. It rained continuously for three consecutive days. Now a year later my backyard looks has if the job had been done 50 years ago. The job look terrible. The concrete look very light in color (whitish) and feel sandy. Every time I wet the area or when it rains the concrete seems to be cracking and washing away gradually.

    After the first winter it appears that the concrete is cracking away faster than I expected and the gravel under the cement is becoming more and more visible.

    My bugdet is very tight and we cannot afford to pay another person to pave or cement the backyard again. What would you suggest as the best possible course of action to repair the area? And approximately how long will this “quick fix method” last?

  53. wendy Says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Danny, I have a concrete patio that is over 50 years old, it’s less than 1/2 ” thick and is cracked, broken and missing in some spots. I don’t know how to approach this problem-I have a very, very small budget. Can we use self leveling cement over the existing cracked patio, can we dig out the holes fill them and then do the self leveling, should we try a pebble epoxy patio…I was hoping you can help with a suggestion for a DIY project for my husband and myself-we are quite handy, just not a lot of experience with cracked concrete. Thanks very much & hope to hear from you.

  54. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 19th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Hi Wendy,
    Patio slabs are typically 4″ thick (3½” really, since you use 2x4s for the form). If your slab is only 1/2″ thick, you would need to pour another slab (either on top of what’s there, or remove the existing slab first) for it to hold up over time. Another option would be to replace it with a paver patio, which makes a good DIY project.

  55. Dale B. Says:
    October 13th, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I currently have an aggregate patio and would like to turn it into a nice brushed concrete. Is there a way to do a resurfacing job on this instead of tearing out the aggregate and pouring a new patio?

  56. KirkC Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Hi Danny
    Ive got the same thing as alot of people with thier driveway’s, mine has chipped out piece’s here and there but only about a quarter inch deep.
    i guewss i could use the same thing as you Danny for all the spots as long as i can get the dirt and broke peices out of it so it’s fairly clean.

  57. bill russell Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I am buying a small mobile home in AZ which needs some work and which I intend to use as a rental. it never freezes there but gets very hot in the summer. The driveway is flat, about 20′ x 30′ long and is very worn and pitted.

    Can I just put gravel over this? I’m not sure I can afford a resurfacing after everything else I need to do. How much trouble would it be to chop up the existing driveway, haul it off, and then put gravel down? This is a new experience for me. Thanks.

  58. Carrie Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hi! I am going to try this DIY project on my porch. After I have resurfaced the concrete, I was wanting to stain the concrete a darker gray color. Will it look right on resurfaced concrete?

  59. Chris Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    How did you stop the root from growing?

  60. JPT Says:
    July 17th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Is it possible to post an update to the “How to Repair Cracks and Resurface a Concrete Driveway” video to show how it held up after a few months/years?

    I plan on doing a project similar to the one in the video for my garage, and was curious if the driveway in the video has cracked or pitted.

    Thanks!

  61. Norma Allen Says:
    June 3rd, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Is all new concert bad? We spent over 11grand to put in driveways and sidewalks. Had it replaced because of flaking out, leaving tiny rocks exposed. Wish we had used blacktop.

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