Concrete Repair and Upkeep: Tips for All Seasons

Welcome to my concrete blog. My name is Helen, and I hate stumbling over old and broken concrete. It makes a home, business or even a whole neighborhood look old and unkempt. To make the world a more beautiful place, I have decided to create this blog. In it, I plan to post everything I have learned about concrete over the years. I plan to include everything from maintenance schedules to upkeep tips to simple repairs to financial risks of broken concrete. If you have a patch of concrete anywhere on your property, I hope you enjoy the information in this blog and learn something new from it.

How To Seal Expansion Joints In A Concrete Driveway Or Sidewalk


Concrete expansion joints are very important for a driveway or sidewalk as these allow slabs of concrete to expand and contract according to the humidity in the air. Without these joints, concrete would crack and buckle as it expands, and you would have a major repair job on your hands soon after the concrete is poured. As important as they are, you also want to keep these joints sealed so that moisture doesn't get underneath the concrete slabs and in turn cause them to heave or to sink.

Sealing expansion joints in a concrete driveway or sidewalk is not difficult but you need to get the right materials and prep the joint properly before you begin.

1. Prep the joint

You need to remove old sealant from the joint and also rough up the concrete so that new sealant will stick. You can do this with a chisel and acetone, which will dissolve the old sealant. Another method is to use a band saw with an abrasive blade. This will cut through the old sealant and any felt that is left behind, and will also cut through the concrete itself to create the rough surface you need. Be sure you choose the right blade—one that is meant for concrete cutting—so you don't ruin the saw rather than cut the driveway or sidewalk.

Once you're done making your cut or have chipped away at the old sealant with a chisel, be sure you sweep it clean. Use a broom with stiff bristles so you can get into the crack itself and remove all pieces.

2. Using the right sealant

Concrete sealant is not the same as the caulk or grout you use for the inside of your home. Be sure you choose a sealant that is meant for concrete as it will be strong enough to adhere but also spongy enough to allow the slabs to shift and expand, as they should. Use a caulking gun for even application inside the joint between concrete slabs.

3. Use backer rods for larger joints

If there are very large joints between concrete slabs that would use too much concrete sealant, first fill the joint with what are called backer rods. These are small rods that sit inside the joint to help keep it filled. You then add the sealant over these so that the joint is full and the backer rod will shift and move with the sealant and concrete itself.

For more information, contact a company like Allied Concrete Cutting & Drilling Pty Ltd.


27 February 2015