Driving over potholes with your car on a public roadway is bad enough. But, at least, if you have potholes in your own cement driveway, you can fix them yourself. Cement driveways are sturdy and durable, and they can provide a smooth surface to drive on for many years.
The repeated traffic, the beating down of the hot sun, rain, snow, and other elements of the weather can stress the cement though, and cause it to crack, break, and develop potholes.
The first step to repair potholes in your cement driveway is to thoroughly clean the area. A wide push broom works well for this purpose, or, you can use a high – powered leaf blower too. Make sure that you especially clean dirt, debris, concrete dust, and pieces out of cracks and potholes. Trim back any grass, shrubs, flowers, or trees that are touching any side of your driveway.
The second step is to use good household ammonia mixed with warm tap water in a bucket to clean your driveway. Use a stiff brush to scrub off any oil, grease, or gas spots. Then, thoroughly rinse your cement driveway with a garden hose. The third step, before you repair the potholes, is to repair any cracks in your driveway. You should use good cement crack filler for small, thin cracks. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the container in order to achieve the best results.
Large cracks should be filled with a mortar made up of one part cement, two parts sand, and three parts gravel. But, before a large crack is filled, it must be undercut. To do this, you will need a hammer and a masonry chisel. Use the tools to chisel out the rough edges of the large cracks to make them larger. Smooth edges will help the new cement to adhere to the old cement better. Clean the cement pieces out of the cracks and brush the cracks clean.
Then, mix in enough tap water to make a thick mixture. Wet down the potholes thoroughly with a garden hose before repairing them, but don’t leave standing water. Then, use a trowel to fill the potholes with the mortar. Tamp the mortar down firmly so the potholes are completely filled. After they are filled, and the mortar has begun to set, use the trowel to level the mortar off so it is level with the surrounding cement.
If your cement driveway has a relatively smooth finish, you will need to use a trowel to smooth the finish down. If your driveway is relatively rough, you will need to use a wood float to finish it. You can also use an old broom to make the new cement resemble the old pattern of the cement.
Finally, you will need to cover the repaired potholes with pieces of heavy plastic. Then, lift the plastic pieces up and wet down the repaired areas with a garden hose every day for about five days. During this time, do not drive your car or walk in these areas. After five days, remove the pieces of heavy plastic from your cement driveway. Then, proceed onto the next step.
The fourth step in this project is to use a good – quality cement sealing product. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the container in order to achieve the best results. Basically, though, you apply the sealer by using a squeegee. The sealer will create a thin, protective surface across your cement driveway. This will help to protect the cement from the elements of the weather.