When to Repair, When to Replace.
When to Repair and When to Replace Your Concrete
Concrete is a commonly used material for sidewalks, porches and driveways of the home. Many home
owners have concrete in some area of the home and use the area on a regular basis. While concrete is
an extremely durable material, it is also one that can be in need of repair or replacement from time to
time. But how do you determine if you should replace the concrete or simply make a repair? Below is a
short guide on different scenarios and which option you should choose.
It is common for sidewalks or driveways to have small cracks when they are used on a regular basis or
due to settling. For the most part, small cracks can be left alone but many home owners want to enjoy a
smooth surface without any blemishes. When you find small cracks in your concrete, it will be more cost
effective to simply fill in the crack. Filler can be purchased for small hairline cracks and easily pushed
into the area to smooth the concrete once again. Try this method before considering removing the
entire portion of concrete and starting over as this will have a high cost.
Driveways are susceptible to deep cracks, especially when they are frequented by heavy vehicles. If the
sub grade was improperly prepared, or there is erosion of the subgrade, or a variety of other reasons. If
the crack has reached the underneath of the concrete, then it is time to remove the concrete and start
over. This will have a higher cost but must be done in order to use the area. If you have a driveway with
deep cracks, it can do more harm than good. It is better to redo the area, ensuring the proper laying of
The old concrete will need to be removed as well as the sub grade. Replace the sub grade with a
material that is compactable and then compact the sub grade before pouring new concrete.
Another problem that will require a replacement of the concrete is when the concrete sinks. Sunken
concrete occurs when the sub grade has not been prepared the correct way. Loose dirt that is used for
the sub grade material can settle due to water and then cause a portion of the concrete to sink down.
The same steps need to be taken as with deep cracks. The concrete and sub grade will need to be
removed. The sub grade will need to be replaced with a compactible material and then compacted with
the concrete poured back in place.
These are just a few of the problems that can exist when dealing with concrete. You want to ensure any
installation of concrete is done correctly with the proper sub grade and compacting as well as pouring
technique. When the concrete is laid correctly you do not run the risk of needing to replace the
materials. If you do find issues with the concrete structures in your home, contact a professional for
advice on whether or not you should repair or replace the area.