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This heaving occurs when three ingredients are present: freezing temperatures, water and soil that’s susceptible to frost. The way to prevent it is to remove one of the ingredients — in this case, water. Keeping the concrete free of cracks and holes is the way to do that.
Doing the repairs
If you’ve got huge cracks, or a lot of them, you may want to hire a pro, but a homeowner with a little savvy can fill small holes and cracks. You can buy concrete repair kits at your local hardware store to take care of the small stuff. Make sure you’ve got gloves, goggles, and a dust mask to protect yourself while working. Every DIY job needs PPE.
First, if there are any bits of loose concrete around the hole, remove that with a chisel. If possible, you want to make as level a surface as possible for the repair patch to adhere to.
Next, you’ll want to clean out the hole. Think of it like a wound — you have to clean it properly before you patch it. So remove every bit of dirt and debris that you can so the patch can fill the hole and properly bond to the concrete. If you’ve got a shop vac handy, this can help make quick work of this step.