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Why Safeguarding Your Driveway's Cracks and Joints Matters

NexusPro concrete joint and crack sealant


Although it may not be the most exciting subject to think about, the importance of protecting the cracks and joints in your driveway cannot be understated. Taking proactive steps to seal the cracks and joints sufficiently can go a long way in preserving the overall condition of your concrete driveway and may save you greater hassle and expense in the long run. Before we get into what solutions can be provided, let’s identify some key variables first.

What is the Difference Between a Crack and a Joint?

Let’s first identify what cracks and joints are and how they differ yet relate to each other. 

Control joints are intentionally cut into the slabs when the driveway’s concrete is first being poured. The intention behind these joints is to prevent cracking from randomly appearing throughout the slab. When concrete cures, it will frequently shrink and expand, resulting in inevitable cracking. However, control joints will allow the concrete to crack in a straight, "controlled" manner, preventing irregular patterns. 

Expansion joints are the wider joints placed between the driveway and the street at the bottom and the garage at the top. These joints allow for the driveway’s concrete slabs to naturally expand during Florida’s hot summer months, as the street in front of your home also expands and pushes against them. The problem with these expansion joints is that they are quite often filled with material that doesn’t allow for much flexibility and deteriorates easily over time.

Cracks, on the other hand, are random and unintentional breaks typically caused by slabs settling due to soil movement, resulting in the concrete becoming unstable. Other than just being unsightly, these cracks can pose a greater threat to your driveway’s long-term condition. Along with control joints, cracks can create an opening for water to seep underneath the concrete, causing the soil to wash away and the slabs to sink further.

Preventing Water Seepage

The primary reason you will want to seal your driveway’s control joints and cracks is to prevent water from infiltrating beneath the concrete slabs. As previously mentioned, when moisture seeps underneath the concrete, it can weaken its support by softening and compressing the soil. Over time, this can lead to soil washout, thus creating voids and causing the slabs to sink. This can not only create an uneven surface that poses a dangerous tripping hazard but can also damage your home’s curb appeal and, as a result, its potential value. On top of all that, the expense to raise and level the concrete would be greater than it would have been to seal the cracks and joints and prevent this occurrence from happening altogether.

Preventing Street Expansion

A phenomenon known as “street creep” is another common threat that can not only damage your driveway but your home’s foundation, leading to substantially greater problems in the future.  

Concrete expands and contracts as it heats up and cools down. During the cooler months of the year, as the concrete roads in front of your home contract, the control joints tend to widen, creating openings that can trap dirt and debris.

Then, when the hot Florida summer comes around, the warm weather causes the concrete street slabs to expand. The problem now is that the control joints are filled with debris, and the concrete doesn't have room to expand. This causes the street to expand outward altogether, gradually pushing up against your driveway and, thus, your home’s foundation. A very problematic situation indeed!

What Are the Solutions?

Now that we’ve identified the different variables, let’s explore some of the solutions for these issues.

By sealing the cracks and joints with a permanent, flexible solution like NexusPro, your driveway’s concrete slabs can be protected from water seeping into the soil underneath. NexusPro will also prevent dirt and debris from entering the joints, which can prevent the joint from working as it’s intended to.

The NexusPro solution is a silicone-based sealant that is far superior to the cheaper polyurethane-based sealers because they are resilient to extreme Florida temperatures and won’t dry out and crack over time. UV exposure will not cause the NexusPro to deteriorate, so you can feel assured knowing that the cracks and joints are permanently protected year-round.

To mitigate the effects of "street creep," CompressionGuard®, a thermo-rubber solution, can be applied to fill the expansion joints at both ends of your driveway. This proprietary solution boasts superior elasticity compared to conventional materials, allowing it to effectively absorb the expansion of the street in front of your home. 

Knowing the importance of protecting your driveway’s cracks and joints can save you from greater hassle and expense down the road. If you’re concerned about driveway slab settlement or street creep, schedule a free inspection with LRE Foundation Repair. LRE can provide a simple, inexpensive solution that’ll keep your home’s concrete looking good (and its foundation safe) for many years to come.

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LRE Foundation Repair
1115 South Main Street
Suite 101
Brooksville, FL 34601

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2150 34th Way N
Largo, FL 33771

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277 Power Ct
Sanford, FL 32771

LRE Foundation Repair
702 NW 9th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
LRE Foundation Repair serves Florida, including [major cities1]