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Why Caulk Concrete Cracks & Joints?

May 9th, 2019 | 3 min. read

By Sarah Etler

Learn why caulking the cracks and joints between your concrete slabs is one of the most important things you can do to increase the longevity of your concrete.

Why You Should Caulk Concrete Cracks, Gaps, and Joints

  • Can help prevent the concrete from settling
  • Can help control freeze-thaw cycle damage
  • Can help combat plant/weed growth
  • Can help reduce trip hazards

We all know that cracks in the driveway or other sections of concrete around a home aren't so pleasant to look at, but is there more to the equation than that?

Actually, yes! Leaving concrete cracks and joints exposed can cause a lot more problems than simply being an eyesore. Water and plants can infiltrate your concrete through the gaps and cause damage, and your guests or family members may trip over them if they're large enough.

Over the last 30 years of specializing in concrete repair and maintenance, A-1 Concrete Leveling has seen just how important it is to caulk concrete cracks and joints. This simple practice can help prolong the life of your concrete significantly.

This article will walk you through why caulking the cracks and joints in your concrete is so important when it comes to preventing settling, controlling freeze-thaw cycle damage, combatting plants, and reducing trip hazards.

Prevent Concrete Settling


Concrete Driveway Crack Repair

Stopping water from flowing under your concrete by caulking gaps and cracks is one of the most important things you can do to keep your driveway from sinking and becoming uneven.

Concrete Driveway Crack Repair Before

Expansion joints in your concrete driveway should be caulked, as they can be an easy place for water to get under your slabs.

Concrete Driveway Crack Repair After

The caulked expansion joint will now block water from making its way under the slab and eroding the soil and sub-material.

Water will do its best to find a way under your concrete and do its work of washing out the subsurface. Having cracks or gaps in the concrete slab create make this easier with a direct path for water to get below the surface and erode away the material holding it up, eventually leading to settling.

This is why it’s critical to caulk the joints and cracks. Expansion joints are necessary to allow the concrete to shift around during changes in season, but those same joints are the perfect place for water to get under your slabs. ​​​​​​

Caulking the joints, gaps, and cracks with a flexible, long-lasting caulk is one of the best things you can do to prevent future issues with your concrete driveways, sidewalks, steps, pool decks, and more.

Control Freeze-Thaw Cycle Damage

Freeze-thaw cycles are when the temperature gets below freezing, then thaws and refreezes, which is especially detrimental to concrete. Concrete is porous, meaning it absorbs water, and when the absorbed water freezes, it expands inside the concrete, causing the pores to pop and leaving lasting damage.

If your concrete starts to crack due to freeze-thaw damage, or if was already cracking, the damage will continue to worsen as long as water has access to the area. As more surface area is exposed and able to absorb the water, more freezing and expansion will occur during freeze-thaw cycles, leading to compounding damage.

The best way to help control freeze-thaw damage to your concrete is by eliminating the opportunities for water to get absorbed into its pores. This can be caulking cracks and joints with a flexible concrete caulk to keep water out, but it can also be sealing the concrete with a high-quality penetrating sealer that will make the surface hydrophobic.

Combat Plant Growth

Weeds and plants love the cracks in concrete, and it seems like no matter how many times you try to kill them, they always come back. With a plethora of soil below the surface holding in warmth and moisture, it makes sense that weeds would want to make a home there.

Beyond being an unappealing nuisance, if left to grow uninterrupted, weeds and plants can actually break down the concrete.

Sealing the gaps and cracks where weeds like to grow with a flexible concrete caulk can help eliminate the chances of them growing back and degrading the concrete over time.

Reduce Trip Hazards

The last thing any homeowner wants is to have a family member or guest get hurt on their property. While concrete cracks are not the first thing you think of when trip hazards come to mind, they can definitely still be a hazard.

For example, imagine what could happen if someone's high heel shoe falls into the crack in your front walkway when arriving to your home. Or, picture the possibilities of stubbed toes and scraped knees as your kids run around the cracking concrete pool deck all summer long.

Filling these gaps and cracks in the concrete with durable, high-quality can help reduce the likelihood of these trip hazards and give you peace of mind.

Your Next Steps

Now that you know why it's so important it is to caulk any of the cracks, gaps, and joints around your home, you're ready to get to work!

If you're more of a do-it-yourself type of person, you can check out our DIY concrete caulking guide which walks you through the materials needed and steps to take in order to seal up pesky concrete cracks.

If you'd rather leave the tough stuff to the professionals, A-1 Concrete Leveling is here to help. With over 30 years of experience keeping our customers' concrete in good shape, we know concrete caulking like the back of our hand.

Click the link below to request a free onsite cost estimate with one of the A-1 experts from a location nearest to you!

Want to learn more? We also have an extensive library of resources dedicated to answering your questions about all things concrete. Be sure to check out the following related topics from Concrete Academy:

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.