A simple outdoor project to improve your property before winter

(BPT) – Looking to make improvements to the overall look of your property before it gets too cold or snowy? This is a great time of year to address any cracks you may have noticed in your concrete driveway, patio, pathway or steps. As long as the temperature is staying above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, you can still take care of this type of task during the early fall months.

While concrete is very durable, cracks can occur due to weather conditions and temperature changes, amongst other issues, and over time could make your property look unkempt, as well as growing to cause a potential safety hazard. Taking care of the cracks you see as soon as possible — before they get any bigger — is an ideal way to help prevent further problems with your concrete surfaces. This is an easy way to help keep your property looking tidy, safe and well maintained.

Before the temps drop and the snow flies, here are steps you can follow to address any cracks you may be noticing. This is a project you can tackle in a single weekend, with the right supplies. One of the easiest products to use is Quikrete® Concrete Crack Seal, which is a pre-mixed blend of latex emulsion formulated to fill cracks in horizontal concrete surfaces.

Before you begin, here’s what you’ll need for the project:

Then, follow these steps to ensure you get the job done right.

1. Check the forecast: If rain is expected within 24 hours, you should postpone this project until you know the weather will be dry. You’ll also want to be sure the temperature outside will be between 45 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 7-38 degrees Celsius). Do not use the sealant product if freezing temperatures are in the immediate forecast.

2. Prep the area: Use your chisel to remove debris inside the crack, and your wire brush to clean loose dirt, grit or gravel from the surface. You could also use a leaf blower, if you have one, to help clear away unwanted material. AA pro tip is to thoroughly clean the area with Quikrete Concrete & Asphalt Cleaner to ensure the best bond with the sealant.

3. Measure the crack size: If the crack you need to fill is deeper than 1/4 inch, it’s recommended to use a filler first, such as all-purpose sand. Fill the crack with sand to within 1/4 inch of the surface. When combined with the sealant, the filler will help ensure that a larger crack is completely sealed. Do not apply in cracks that are wider than half an inch.

4. Use the sealant: Start by shaking the container of Quikrete Concrete Crack Seal to make sure that the product is well blended. Next, cut the tip of the spout to make a 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch opening. Squeeze the formula into the crack, working slowly. Overfill the crack slightly, as the product will shrink. The sealant is self-leveling, and its color blends well with gray concrete.

5. Let it cure: After pouring the sealant, wait 24 hours for the product to cure. You can apply a second coat after 24 hours, as needed, to provide a more uniform finished surface.

Crack sealing is an easy and low-cost fix, but if you’re seeing multiple cracks and holes, it may be time to consider a more complete and permanent solution. However, sealing cracks now will help prevent future damage and give you time to plan for bigger projects in the future. With these minor repairs in place, you can be confident that your driveway or other cement surfaces will be in better shape by the time spring rolls around again.