Though it is strong, concrete has one major flaw: it cracks. If you have found yourself with a cracked driveway and don’t know what to do, you are not alone. Most driveways will crack with time, and if you do not have the money to replace the entire thing, there is always the option of fixing these cracks.
Fixing cracks in a concrete driveway cost an average of $2.00 per square foot to get it done professionally. If you choose to DIY it, expect to pay $10-$15 per bottle of concrete filler. For cracks that are too large to be filled, resurfacing is the way to go, costing only $2.25 per square foot.
These three options all have their own pros and cons, from price to difficulty to time, but they all serve a purpose. Find out exactly what type of crack repair fits your budget.
The Cost of Professional Concrete Crack Filling
If you are a bit skeptical about repairing the cracks in your driveway by yourself, that is no problem! That’s where the professionals come in.
A professional crack repair can be easily done on any crack that is 1/4 inch wide or less and under a few inches deep.
Cracks that exceed 1/4 inch in width and are more than a few inches deep often indicate issues with the foundation of your driveway.
When done correctly, getting your cracks filled can keep them covered and stop them from expanding for 8-10 years.
The length of time these repairs last can be lowered by external influences such as the weather, temperature, and amount of use your driveway sees.
The cost of getting a crack in your driveway repaired is an average of $150 per 18 square feet of cracked driveway. This price factors in the cost of repair per square foot, about $2.00, as well as the costs of cleaning, delivery, and labor.
With all these factors combined, you can expect to pay about $8.00 per square foot of the driveway.
It is hard to estimate a total cost because the number of square feet needed depends completely on how cracked your driveway is.
Thankfully, this project is not one that needs to be repeated often. If you take care of your patched driveway, it can last you up to 10 years.
The Cost of Fixing Concrete Cracks Yourself
Working with a concrete company is the best option for many projects concerning concrete, as it is not the easiest material to master, but this is not one of them.
Repairing cracks in concrete DIY style is not a bad idea as long as you get the correct materials, do it the correct way, and take care of your space.
Unlike professional repairs, DIY repairs can be done on cracks larger than 1/4 inch wide and a few inches deep. The reason for this is that concrete companies have to follow both commercial and local building codes whereas DIY remodelers do not.
DIY repairs can be done using bottled crack filler or concrete patching kits.
For cracks that are 1/4 of an inch or smaller, products like UGL’s Masonry Crack Filler, Ardex’s 8+9, and Damtite’s Concrete Patch Super Repair are often recommended.
These products all come with easy-to-follow instructions on their packaging, so you do not need to worry about being unsure of how to use them.
If the crack in your driveway is larger than 1/4 of an inch, products like Red Devil’s Pre-mixed Concrete Patch or Quickrete’s Vinyl Concrete Patcher are great suggestions and are both available on Amazon.
For even more suggestions, read our buyer’s guide 10 Best Concrete Crack Fillers for Driveways.
Another avenue for large cracks is to simply mix concrete and apply it with a trowel.
For these larger, deeper cracks, it is recommended that you fill the hole with gravel until it is within 4 inches of the surface before filling your crack. This will save money on materials and increase the stability and quality of your repair.
Sadly, DIY patches do not last as long as professional patching, simply because they are often done on larger cracks. When the crack is larger than the standard 1/4 of an inch, weather patterns, the weight of cars, and frequent use really wear it down.
Though the cost is quite low, DIY patching typically has to be done about every 5 years.
The Cost of Professional Driveway Resurfacing
If neither DIY driveway repair and professional sounds like the solution for you but you do not want to pay for a total driveway remodel, there is still one great option: driveway resurfacing.
Resurfacing can be done on driveways in almost any condition – there is no limit on how wide or deep the cracks can be- so this is a wonderful option for driveways that are a bit on the rough side.
Concrete driveway resurfacing can last 15 years or more, but, just like every form of concrete, it is affected by the weather, the amount of use, and the care it is given.
Resurfacing your driveway is not only a long-lasting option; it is also cost-effective.
A basic driveway resurfacing will cost about $2.25 per square foot for the concrete and between $3.00 and $10.00 per square foot with cleaning, delivery, and labor costs.
Overall, resurfacing the average 16′ by 40′ driveway would cost around $3,840 in total, but it only needs to be done every 15 years.
After reading about each of the three main repair options, you may be wondering how they look next to one another. Below is a chart cross-comparing the cost of each type of repair.
Costs are compared based on the total average price per square foot, the number of years they can last before they need to be redone, and the money you would have to spend on each method over a 10-year span.
|Type Of Repair||Cost||Durability (in years)||Cost of 100 sq ft over 10 years|
|Professional Filling||$8.00 per sq. ft.||Up to 10 years||$800 per 100 sq. ft. over 10 years|
|DIY Repair||$4.00 per sq. ft.||Up to 5 years||$800 per 100 sq. ft. over 10 years|
|Resurfacing||$6.00 per sq. ft.||Up to 15 years or more||$400 per 100 sq. ft. over 10 years|
The numbers on the chart may seem shocking, but they show the truth of exactly how cost-effective each option is. If you are looking for a cheap, short-term repair, DIY is the way to go. For a cleaner and slightly more durable option, you should choose professional repairing.
Patching is a great option, but, if you want your concrete to last the longest, look the best, and cost the least in the long run, getting your driveway resurfaced is the best route to take.