MADISON (WKOW) -- A cracked, crumbling sidewalk or driveway with weeds popping through is no way to welcome guests to your home, especially if you’re trying to sell. You can take care of small problems yourself, but bigger ones could require a professional.
A freshly poured concrete driveway is something to enjoy because soon enough, it will look weathered. Concrete professional Tony Johnson says, “There are two things we can guarantee: that it’s gonna crack and get hard. But what we try to do to avoid the cracking of it is place what we call stress joints accordingly to the pattern of the driveway to allow it to move, and the stress joints basically prevent the cracking.”
Angie's List founder says, “If you have a crack in your driveway or your sidewalk that you want to have repaired, check with your professional and talk to them about what type of repair they’re willing to do because not all cracks are repaired the same.”
Small shrinkage cracks don’t necessarily need attention, but structural or settlement cracks that span the width of the concrete should be filled with a structural epoxy to prevent water from getting in and doing more damage. Johnson says, “That’s where your problem comes a lot of times. The water sits in there and saturates and it heaves and thaws. So you want to try to close it up as soon as possible.”
Then there’s the off-set structural crack where the concrete has raised on either side and involves the most work. “If you have a spot where your concrete is unlevel, it can not only be unattractive but it also can be a tripping hazard for you or your guests." says Hicks. "When you’re considering having it replaced, you might also consider having it repaired. You can actually have it leveled and that can be less expensive and last just as long.”
Leveling concrete is about one-third the cost of replacement and allows you to keep the same uniform, weathered appearance. Leveling concrete is also known as mudjacking. It can be done for as little as $60 for one square of a sidewalk and can be walked on within an hour of completion, but consider the overall condition of the concrete. If it has fairly significant damage, Angie says replacement is the better option.