When you pour concrete into a form, it has the form of a wet slurry mix. As the mix begins to cure or dry, the mix will slowly contract. Once the concrete fully cured, it will, due to weather conditions, expand and contract. This movement will cause the concrete slab to crack if you did not place expansion joints into the surface. If the expansion joints become exposed to the weather, water can find its way into the open joints. Over time, the water can cause problems from freezing and erosion to the concrete itself. Fill up these cracks using typical concrete caulk sealant.
Things You'll Need
- High-pressure washer (optional)
- Garden hose with sprayer
- Concrete caulk sealant
- Applicator caulk gun
Consult a local building outlet for the correct type of concrete caulk for your area. Various climates will dictate a different type of sealant. Colder climates will require a sealant that can expand and contract with the large environmental temperature swings, while a wet and hot environment may not require a compound than needs to withstand freezing temperatures. Different sealant compounds may require various application methods.
Sweep the driveway with the broom. Remove all heavy debris and any dirt or sand particles. Use either a high-pressure washer or a garden hose with a sprayer attachment. Beginning on the uppermost end of the driveway, wash the entire surface down. Concentrate on cleaning out the expansion joints. Remove all minor dirt and debris from the joint regardless of the type of sealant you plan to use.
Allow the driveway to completely dry. Keep all traffic from the driveway, as vehicles will track more dirt over the hard surface and the debris will find its way into the expansion joints.
Follow the sealant manufacturers directions for application after the thorough cleaning. In most cases, the sealant will come in a basic caulking tube. Cut open the end of the caulk tube to the desired width of the expansion joint. Insert the tube into the caulk gun, and apply the caulk to the joint. Ensure that the caulk completely fills the open void of the expansion joint.
Allow the caulk to fully cure. This may take up to 24 or even 48 hours, depending on the product. Keep all traffic off of the driveway surface during the curing time.
Tips & Warnings
- Repair driveways with severe cracks in the surface before applying an expansion joint sealant. The cracks will allow just as much moisture into the slab, if not more, than an unsealed expansion joint.
About Concrete Sealant
If you are building a basement or have a concrete garage floor, you may want to consider using a concrete sealant to...
How to Replace Caulking on the Outside of Your House
Caulk and other sealants safeguard your house against rain and snow at vulnerable points such as cracks and open joints, wherever flashing...
How to Seal a Driveway
How to Seal a Driveway. A driveway is tormented by every weather condition as well as being saturated by oil spills from...
How to Caulk Cement
Cement blocks, walkways and walls can enhance any landscape. However, over time, they may suffer some damage and need repairs. Caulking cement...
How to Repair a Concrete Expansion Joint
Repairing deteriorating expansion joints in your home's driveway will increase the driveway's life. "Expansion joints are placed in driveways in strategic places...
How to Seal Expansion Joints in Concrete
Concrete driveways seldom consist of one long piece of concrete. Rather, they are several slabs of concrete separated by gaps known as...
How to Fill Existing Expansion Joints
Expansion joints reduce cracking in concrete walls, floors and driveways. Concrete expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations and water absorption. The expansion...
Types of Caulk for Concrete
From filling in joints on a driveway to repairing a hole in a wall, there are a number of reasons why you...