How-To Videos

How to Repair a Cracked Concrete Driveway

By: Danny Lipford

It’s a given that a concrete slab will develop cracks over time. This is particularly true at cold joints, where two concrete slabs meet that were poured at different times.

If the concrete slab is outdoors, such as a driveway, the cracks need to be sealed properly to keep water from seeping under the slab and eroding the soil, which can cause the concrete to settle.

To seal crack in a concrete slab:

  • Remove any debris or loose concrete in the crack using a screwdriver, followed by a wire brush.
  • Use a broom or leaf blower to clean out the crack.
  • Fill the crack with concrete repair caulk, such as Polyurethane Concrete Crack Sealant from Quikrete.
  • On cracks that are wider than 1/4” push foam backer rod into the crack with a screwdriver, so it’s 1/2” below the surface, then fill the crack with concrete repair caulk.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Concrete driveways require a lot less maintenance. You want to keep them nice and clean. But more importantly, you want to be sure you fill up any cracks you might have, especially a crack like this. Now, this is called a cold joint, where this slab and this slab were poured at different times. And no matter what you do, it’s going to crack.

Now, here’s what’s important about sealing that crack up, is that if you allow rain to get in this crack, sooner or later it’s going to affect the integrity of the soil below it. This will start settling and cracking, I’ve seen it a hundred times.

Here’s all you have to do is take a screwdriver, and just kind of scratch away at any debris you may have in the crack. Then, a wire brush to really clean it up really well. And then use a whisk broom. Or, I’ll tell you what, a leaf blower works really well on this as well.

Then, the important thing is a concrete repair caulk, this particular one is a self-leveling. And on a crack like this, you basically are just filling it in, and making it nice and flat.

Now, that works well on a crack like this. But if you have a crack that’s a little larger – for some reason on this side, it’s a little larger than on that side – you’ll need this extra step.

It’s a backer rod, and you use this anytime you’re caulking anything on the outside of your house that’s larger than say a quarter inch or three-eighths. And here, I’m going to put it down in the crack, like that. Screwdriver, push it down about a half-inch. Then, I’ll caulk right over it, just like I did the smaller crack.

Danny Lipford is among the country’s most sought-after home improvement experts.
The seasoned remodeling contractor and media personality served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 180 national television appearances on “Fox & Friends,” “Inside Edition,” “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” Fox Business Channel, Rachael Ray and more.
He travels the country making appearances as a brand ambassador and spokesperson, and each year contributes expertise to hundreds of popular magazines and online media outlets.

Chelsea Lipford Wolf is a born-and-raised home enthusiast, adding her crafty skills and passion for DIY as co-host of the top-rated, nationally syndicated “Today’s Homeowner” TV show.

In addition, Chelsea maintains her own home lifestyle and décor blog and award-winning web-series, “Checking in with Chelsea.”

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12 Comments on “How to Repair a Cracked Concrete Driveway”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 26th, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Hi, Phil!
    We recommend submitting questions involving unique situations like yours to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • PHIL LOWE Says:
    March 24th, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    I have a triangle piece of concrete about 3 feet long and about 3 inches thick . It has broken away in the middle my driveway. It has sunk about 4 inches so I can see a gas line underneath it. What do I do? Contact the gas company? it has happened because of a washout underneath it. Do I try and repair it myself? An uplifting foam Company gave me bid of over $4,000. Other companies have said I need to replace the whole section of concrete. My driveway is @ 30 yards long and 10 feet wide. My wife and I are school teachers and have no $ to hire someone.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    September 24th, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Hi, Pemelope. Thanks for sharing your concern. We look forward to receiving the photograph.

  • Pemelope Says:
    September 23rd, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Thank you for the video. I did this as did my neighbor, however it did not really work. We both used the same product as you, the self leveling concrete. I’m going to see if I can send you a picture. Also now another larger crack has just appeared, much larger! I look forward to your thoughts.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    September 26th, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Hi, Megan!
    Numerous factors could apply in this case. Was the foundation poured amid low temperatures? Did the concrete have control joints? Was too much water added to the mix? These are questions to consider when analyzing your driveway’s cracks.
    Thanks for your question!

  • Megan Says:
    September 12th, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Had a driveway replaced two years ago and I already see large cracks in it. Why would a two year old concrete driveway have cracks already?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Says:
    March 2nd, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Hi, Glen,

    Here’s more information about this topic:
    Give it a read and let us know how things work out.
    Thanks for your question!

  • Glen B. Greenly Says:
    March 1st, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I’m going to seal my concrete driveway with Ghostshield Lithi-Tek LS 9500 sealer. I want to backer rod/ caulk concrete joints on driveway. Should I apply caulk before or after I apply the sealer?

  • Frank Gnolfo Says:
    August 25th, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I recently purchased a house that has a driveway covered with maybe 3′ or 4′ concrete sections (blocks?) They are approximately 3″ thick and there is a gap between them. The gaps or spaces are about 3″ by 2″.

    I would like to fill and seal these with the concrete mix in your video and them put a skim thinner coat over the entire driveway as you did in the video.
    Are these spaces in between each section fillable? I was thinking of filling them partially with rebar and then fill with the quikcrete repair concrete?

    Any thoughts?

  • Kay Says:
    July 6th, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    A friend of mine told me that I should also caulk the cracks between the concrete slabs even if they have not been damaged.

    Is it true?

  • Brenda Carter Says:
    June 20th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Do not know how this happened (was like this when I bought the house). There is a 1″ Sq cut out of concrete driveway; approximately 1/2″ deep. Can this space be filled using directions for repairing large cracks?

  • Jeff Krumrie Says:
    June 20th, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Great video, I did this on a cement slab in our backyard. parts of the crack was too small to use the backer rod, I had air bubbles created from below. Any suggestions on how to avoid that? I also have a good 1.5″ gap between my driveway and garage floor. Any suggestions on how to fill in a joint that wide? Thanks and love the show!

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How to Repair a Cracked Concrete Driveway