DIY Concrete Driveway Repair

Updated March 23, 2017

Concrete driveways often crack and begin to look old. When they do they often drive down the appearance (and sometimes the value) of the entire property. While it can be a big and very labour-intensive job, repairing a concrete driveway is not beyond the scope of most able-bodied homeowners. With the right supplies, a helpful assistant and just a few tools, most homeowners can repair their own driveways, saving themselves money in the process.

Wash the driveway using a power spray nozzle. Remove as much old and broken concrete as possible as well as removing dirt and other debris. Use a stiff brush to remove any lose concrete in cracks.

Fill hairline cracks by mixing water with concrete dressing (a powder available at hardware stores and home improvement centres) at the rate of four parts of dressing to one part water. Force this mix into hairline cracks with a putty knife, smoothing the top with your knife as you complete the repair.

Fill larger cracks, up to 1/2 inch wide, with concrete repair caulk. Squeeze the caulk into the cracks with a caulking gun and then smooth the surface with a putty knife or trowel.

Mask all expansion joints with duct tape. Expansion joints are 1/2 to 1-inch-wide spaces between sections of cement to allow the cement to expand and contract with changes in temperature. Expansion joints are typically filled with felt or wood. Expansion joints must not be filled in when the driveway is resurfaced. Do not allow the tape to extend more than 1/8 of an inch onto the concrete on either side of the joint.

Pour 2 1/2 quarts of water into a five-gallon bucket and then add in a 20 pound bag of concrete dressing. Mix well using a 650rpm 1/2 drill motor and concrete mixing paddles. Mix for two minutes (until smooth) and then remove the paddles and set them in a bucket of clean water.

Pour the dressing onto the driveway, starting at one end and working toward the other and smooth it out with a long-handled squeegee. Work quickly as the cement will set within 30 minutes. Once the concrete is smoothed out, use a push broom to add texture to the surface so it is not slick. Have an assistant mixing a new batch of concrete dressing while you are smoothing out and texturing the first batch.

Add more and more concrete as you move down the driveway, squeegeeing and texturing with the broom as you go. Work quickly and keep the various batches of concrete looking smooth and even. Remove the duct tape from the expansion joints as you finish texturing the concrete on both sides of the joint.

The new driveway surface can be walked on in four hours, but should not be driven on for at least six to eight hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose with power sprayer
  • Stiff brush
  • Concrete dressing
  • Putty knife
  • Concrete repair caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Trowel
  • 650rpm 1/2 inch drill
  • Concrete mixing paddles
  • 2, 5-gallon buckets
  • Long-handled squeegee
  • Push Broom
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About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.