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Fixing Cracks in Concrete Sidewalks

Tips and Idea’s to Help the Everyday DIYer

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Fixing Large Cracks in Concrete Sidewalks: A Guide by Ernie’s Gutter

Learn expert tips from Ernie’s Gutter, a trusted Denver contractor since 1978, on fixing large cracks in concrete sidewalks and driveways. Get valuable advice on gutter replacement, repair, and more!

Are you dealing with unsightly cracks in your concrete sidewalk or driveway? As a seasoned gutter contractor from a long line of experienced professionals, I understand the frustration of seeing your outdoor surfaces deteriorate. But fear not! Ernie’s Gutter, serving Denver since 1978, is here to share some valuable insights on how to tackle those pesky cracks effectively.


Concrete sidewalks and driveways are prone to cracks, especially in regions like Denver with freeze-thaw cycles. These cracks not only mar the appearance of your property but can also pose safety hazards. Fortunately, with the right approach and materials, you can repair them efficiently and restore the beauty and integrity of your outdoor spaces.Crack-In-A-Concrete-Sidewalk

At Ernie’s Gutter, we’ve seen it all when it comes to outdoor maintenance. Let’s dive into our comprehensive guide on fixing large cracks in concrete sidewalks and driveways.

Understanding the Problem

Before diving into the repair process, it’s essential to understand why cracks occur in concrete surfaces. Factors such as freeze-thaw cycles, soil movement, and improper installation can contribute to crack formation. By addressing the root cause, you can prevent future damage and prolong the lifespan of your sidewalks and driveways.

Step-by-Step Repair Guide

1. Preparing the Surface

  • Start by cleaning the edges of the crack to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant [1].
  • Remove any debris, including old caulk, using a nylon cup brush wheel attached to a drill.

2. Filling the Gap

  • For larger voids, use standard play sand to fill the gaps [4].
  • Utilize backer rods for consistent gaps, but for irregular ones, consider custom-cutting a pool noodle as a backer rod alternative.

3. Applying Sealant

  • Choose a semi-self-leveling sealant like Vulcan 45 SSL for optimal results [1].
  • Ensure the sealant is applied evenly and covers the entire crack to prevent water infiltration.

4. Finishing Touches

  • Seal off the ends of the crack with duct tape to prevent the sealant from sticking during the drying process [1].
  • Clean up any loose debris and sprinkle sand over the sealant to blend it with the surrounding surface [1].

Maintenance Tips

To prolong the lifespan of your repaired sidewalk or driveway, consider the following maintenance tips:

  • Regularly inspect gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage away from concrete surfaces.
  • Address any underlying issues, such as soil erosion or poor drainage, to prevent future crack formation.


1. How long does it take to repair a large crack in a concrete sidewalk?

The time required depends on the size and severity of the crack. In general, it may take a few hours to complete the repair process.

2. Can I use regular caulk to fill concrete cracks?

Regular caulk is not recommended for concrete cracks as it may not provide sufficient durability and adhesion.

3. Will the repaired crack be noticeable?

With proper application and finishing techniques, the repaired crack should blend seamlessly with the surrounding surface.

4. Can I walk or drive on the repaired area immediately after sealing?

It’s best to allow the sealant to cure for at least 24 hours before subjecting it to foot traffic. For driveways, wait 48 hours before driving on the repaired surface.

5. How often should I inspect my concrete sidewalks and driveways for cracks?

Regular inspections, ideally every few months, can help identify cracks early and prevent them from worsening.

6. What causes concrete cracks in sidewalks and driveways?

Concrete cracks can result from various factors, including freeze-thaw cycles, soil movement, and improper installation techniques.

7. Do I need special tools to repair concrete cracks?

Basic tools such as a drill with a nylon cup brush wheel, backer rods, and sealant applicators are sufficient for most repairs.

8. Can I repair concrete cracks myself, or should I hire a professional?

Minor cracks can often be DIY repaired, but for larger or complex cracks, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure a proper and long-lasting fix.

9. Will repairing cracks in my sidewalk or driveway improve its longevity?

Yes, timely crack repair can prevent further damage and extend the lifespan of your concrete surfaces.

10. How much does it cost to repair large cracks in concrete sidewalks?

The cost of repair depends on various factors, including the size of the crack, the materials used, and whether professional assistance is required. It’s best to obtain estimates from reputable contractors for an accurate assessment.

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