If you've got unwanted cracks in your concrete, you can repair them yourself with joint sealant. However, there are so many options on the market that it can be hard to know which ones to select. To help you narrow in on the right option, here are some features to look for:
1. Concrete or Synthetic Materials
You can seal cracks and fill holes with a concrete mix, or you can opt for a synthetic material. The synthetic options include silicone or polyurethane. The former is best for continuity, but the latter may be easier to work with.
2. Hot or Cold Application
When you're dealing with polyethylene-based sealing compounds, you have a choice of hot or cold applications. For commercial purposes, you may want to opt for the superior qualities of hot application joint compounds.
When just fixing cracks in your concrete driveway or residential patio, you may want to choose a cold application. That way you don't have to worry about keeping any materials at temperature. You can just apply everything at ambient temperatures.
3. Accelerated Curing
Curing essentially refers to the process where the sealant sets. For best results, consider looking for a concrete joint sealing compound that promises accelerated curing. In most cases, that gives you time to work with the compound, but you don't have to wait long for it to set. That makes the timing of your project more flexible.
If you choose a compound that takes a long time to cure, you have to schedule your work around the weather. Ideally, you want the sealant to cure before it starts to rain or before the temps go up or down precipitously.
4. Dispensing Method
Generally, you get to choose between two different dispensing methods. You can choose a concrete joint sealer that comes in a bucket. Then, you spread it into the cracks using a putty knife or any tool similar to a spatula. Alternatively, you can get sealant that comes in a gun-style dispenser, similar to the ones used for caulk.
5. Elastic to Resist Aging
Another feature you may want to look for is elasticity. The more elastic your sealant is, the better suited it is to withstand all kinds of weather. When it's elastic, it can handle freezing and heat without cracking or shrinking.
To get more tips on the best product for your needs, consult with a specialist, or let the pros handle the work and hire a concrete repair company.