Ask Dave – Best way to fix my concrete driveway?

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Posted on Ask Dave Building Restoration

Ask Dave:

I have a large amount of concrete for driveways and patios. The concrete was laid about 8 years ago. Had it pressure washed and there are some cracks and pitting that needs attention. Wondered if you had any suggestions on products to use etc. Also wondering if I should be sealing it as it looks like I am loosing the “cream” off the surface. Any advice you can provide would be appreciated. ~ Brad

Dave answers:Concrete trowel - finishing

The pitting and the slight breakdown in the concrete surface is likely due to the concrete placing. Likely it was troweled out too soon (when concrete is placed, it is screeted off, and then you leave it for a while before finish troweling. During this time, water comes to the surface and then is reabsorbed, and then it’s ready to trowel finish. If the concrete is troweled too soon, the additional water at the surface is troweled into the top layer of the concrete and this layer is weaker than it should be. This sounds like what you might have.

The solution? It is difficult to fix small pitted areas. Almost any repair material will be different in colour and troweled down in thin layers, will break down within a couple of years.

I recommend a clear silane/siloxane sealer be applied. This penetrating sealer will strengthen the top surface of the concrete and give some protection.  It will also help slow the spread and widening of the small cracks. It will at least slow the breakdown of the top surface layer.  The sealing is something that will need to be redone every 2-3 years, as it wears off.  I do this with my stamped concrete sidewalks and decks at home.  I aim for every 2 years.  Usually I go 3 years.

One sealer that is reasonably priced and easy to use is Micro-seal.  I’m attaching a data sheet. You can put this on with a garden sprayer, or roll it on with a heavy nap roller.