How to Repair Cracks and Extend a Concrete Driveway
LESLIE: Chris in Louisiana is on the line and needs help with a driveway project. Tell us what’s going on.
CHRIS: Well, I have an old concrete driveway that’s got a few cracks in it.
CHRIS: I would imagine those could be patched up with something like QUIKRETE. But what I’m basically asking about is extending the driveway from where it sort of slopes down to the ground, which is above the street level. And there’s about maybe a gap of 12 feet, perhaps, between the end of the driveway, which sort of feathers down. And then I’d like to extend it down towards the street so my property is about maybe 2 feet higher – eh, not quite that. Almost 2 feet.
TOM: So what’d they do? Run out of concrete the first time they poured the driveway?
CHRIS: No. We don’t have any sidewalks, so this would go over the area where there would be a sidewalk if they had sidewalks.
TOM: Oh, alright.
CHRIS: So I’m asking if concrete’s a better material to use or asphalt or perhaps something else, even?
TOM: Oh, no. I think you – since you have a concrete driveway right now, I would clearly extend it using more concrete. I would repair those cracks in the surface. There is a QUIKRETE concrete-repair product that comes in a caulk tube for those small cracks. And you could also consider using one of the resurfacing products that are available so that now you’ll have a brand-new driveway and an old driveway. And if you resurface that driveway, it’s kind of like stucco. And they’re specially designed to stick to the old concrete. Then the whole thing will look brand new and it’ll all kind of match.
CHRIS: OK. And do you have to wet that down first or …?
TOM: Yeah, you just follow the instructions. There’s a …
CHRIS: What’s that product called?
TOM: It’s made by QUIKRETE and I think it’s called Sand/Topping Mix or something like that.
CHRIS: OK. And I can get that at like a home center?
TOM: Home centers. You know, take a look at the QUIKRETE website. They’ve got some great videos there on all of these projects.
CHRIS: OK. Now, how about the extension? Do I need to build a form or just lay concrete down and kind of pack it in?
TOM: No. Have you ever poured concrete yourself before?
CHRIS: A little bit but mostly just for small projects, like walks and stuff.
TOM: Well, you know what? This is a pretty big project and since you haven’t done it before, I would recommend that you get a mason to help you. It’s a little bit different to handle this amount of concrete. You’re going to need a fair amount of it.
But basically, the way the project goes is they do build forms that hold the concrete in at the end. And with a 12-foot section, they’re going to probably put an expansion joint in between. So you pour the first section and then you have the expansion joints in there. Then you pour the second section.
You’ve got to shake the concrete and treat the concrete and finish the concrete so that the rocks fall down to the bottom and sort of the smoothest mud comes up to the top. Then you’ve got to put a finish in it so it’s not slippery. And you usually do that with a very coarse broom. So, it’s not the kind of first-time concrete project that I would recommend to somebody.
CHRIS: At least that gives me an idea what to aim for. OK. Well, thanks a lot. I always enjoy your program on the weekends, when I hear it.
TOM: Well, thanks very much, Chris. We appreciate that and good luck with that project.