How to Stop Weeds From Growing in Driveway Cracks

Pesky weeds can pop up anywhere, even in your driveway and walkways! You may think that a patch of concrete will keep the weeds at bay, but they find a way to grow, even in the toughest environment.

So, how do you keep weeds from growing through cracks in your concrete or asphalt driveway? And, what’s more, how can you keep them from coming back? Stop unsightly weeds from spoiling the look of your driveway!

How do I remove weeds from the cracks in a driveway or walkway?

It can be tricky to get to the root of a weed problem when they sprout up in a tiny crack! Here are a few ways to get rid of weeds from cracks in cement.

Douse them in vinegar

Goya White Vinegar - Distilled, 1 Gallon

Vinegar to the rescue once again! This inexpensive household product has many uses, and weed killer is one of them!

Household Vinegar

You probably already have this solution in your kitchen! Regular, distilled white vinegar can be an effective weed killer. It’s also a natural solution. Be aware that vinegar will kill almost any plant, though! Avoid spraying it on your lawn or other landscaping.

Simply place the vinegar in a spray bottle and give the weeds a thorough misting. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap to the vinegar to help it stick to the leaves.

Horticultural Vinegar

Horticultural or Industrial Strength Vinegar may be difficult to find at the grocery store, but it will pack a punch when applied to weeds! Regular strength vinegar may require multiple applications before it kills weeds, while horticultural vinegar usually does the trick with one application.

Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar | Dilutes to 9 Gallons | 9x Power Vinegar | Industrial Use, 1 Gallon

Pull the weeds

Sometimes good, old-fashioned elbow grease is all you need! This is a free option that will also allow you to get some exercise and fresh air. If the weeds have gone to seed, make sure to carefully dispose of them so the seeds don’t spread.

Use a weeding tool

A tool like a cape cod weeder, soil knife, or a stand up weeder can make a difficult job easier. Use one of these tools to dig weeds out from the concrete. The stand up weeder is particularly helpful for those who have difficulty bending over or getting up and down off the ground.

Apply an herbicide

If you want to get rid of broadleaf weeds quickly and don’t mind using chemicals, apply a weed killer. Always wear protective gear, such as gloves, long pants and sleeves, a mask, and eye protection when applying chemicals. Make sure to follow package instructions closely and avoid spraying the surrounding grass and plants.

If pets and children use your driveway, you may want to consider a non-toxic herbicide. These can kill weeds without posing a risk to family members. 

Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer (1 Gallon) No Hormone Disrupting Chemicals

Pour boiling water

Boiling water is a cheap, easy way to get rid of unwanted weeds. Simply fill up your kettle, heat it until it whistles, then douse the weeds with the boiling water.

Be careful not to splash any other grass or plants because the water will kill them, too. Beware of steam burns or splashes from the boiling water! Make sure to stand clear of the water while you apply it.

Torch them with a Propane Torch

Burning the weeds is another effective way to get rid of the entire plant. You can use a regular propane torch or buy a specialized weed burner torch. Make sure to read all instructions before use. Use heat-proof gloves when operating a propane torch.

Flame King YSNPQ810CGA Propane Torch Weed Burner with Integrated Lighter, Silver

How can I prevent weeds in my driveway?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or so they say! It’s best to stop weeds before they even start.

Clean garden tools

Weed seeds can cling to garden tools, then be transferred to a different part of the yard or driveway. Now you have the same weeds, just in a different location! After using garden tools in one part of the yard, wipe them clean before using them in a different location to remove any stray seeds.

Pull weeds before seeds spread

Don’t wait too long to pull weeds! Get to them when they’re small before they have seeds. Just the act of pulling a weed with seeds attached can send seeds flying to other areas, such as your driveway.

Seal the cracks

Sealing your driveway is a great way to keep weeds out of those cracks and seams. A concrete patch or cement filler comes in a tube and is easy to apply. Once applied, it sets and dries to keep weeds from coming through the cracks.

Weeds in Concrete Cracks

Apply cement crack filler in weather that is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with no rain in the forecast. It needs to cure for 24 hours before it can withstand moisture or traffic.

Sterilize the soil

Salt is an inexpensive and easy to find solution to sterilize the soil so no grass or weeds will grow. Either rock salt or table salt will do the trick.

Create a salt mixture with water in a 3:1 ratio. Add a little dish soap, if desired, to reduce surface tension and help the mixture stick to the soil. Carefully pour the mixture along the driveway cracks.

Not only will this solution prevent weeds from growing, it will also kill any existing weeds. Be cautious when applying salt! It will kill any other plant it contacts. Also, be aware of any potential run-off areas to make sure the salt does not wash into other landscaping areas.

Use a weed prevention herbicide

A grass and weed preventer is an effective way to keep the weeds from even starting. Follow all the package instructions for application. Keep children and pets away from any area that has been treated with chemicals. Avoid getting the weed preventer on any other grass or plants, as it may harm them, too.

What can I do to keep weeds away before the concrete is poured?

If you haven’t poured the concrete yet, you can take steps to solve the weed problem early on! There are several materials that can be laid underneath a driveway, walkway, or patio that will keep weeds from emerging.

Lay landscaping fabric

Look for a landscaping fabric that includes a weed barrier. Talk to your pavement installer before you place the fabric in the area designated for concrete. Landscaping fabric is usually chemical-free, and air and water permeable.

Use a geotextile mesh

Super Geotextile - 8 oz Geotextile (3x50)

Geotextile mesh is a heavy-duty landscaping fabric with punched holes. It will last for many years. It creates a physical barrier so the weeds can’t emerge from the dirt. Geotextile mesh is a great option to lay under concrete pavers.

Frequently Asked Questions

You asked I answered! Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about weeds and driveways!

What to put in driveway cracks to prevent weeds?

The best solution for driveway cracks is to seal them with an acrylic asphalt crack filler or concrete patch. These physical barriers will keep the weeds from emerging.

How do I get rid of weeds in my driveway naturally?

There are several options for natural weed prevention. Vinegar, boiling water, and salt are the most effective applications. Of course, good, old-fashioned hand pulling is also natural and effective!

Does salt stop weeds from growing?

Salt does act as a preemergent. It sterilizes the soil so that nothing can grow, including weeds.

Will bleach kill weeds in driveway cracks?

Bleach not only kills stains and odors, but it acts as an herbicide, as well! Carefully pour undiluted bleach into driveway or walkway cracks to kill the weeds. Wear a mask and gloves, and avoid breathing the bleach fumes.

What about weeds in concrete expansion joints?

weeds in concrete expansion joints

It’s difficult to remove weeds from concrete expansion joints because parts of the weeds will often remain in the joints even after you try to pull them. Apply vinegar or an herbicide to the existing weeds. Once they’re dead, remove any debris, then seal the joints to prevent any further weeds from growing.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let weeds take over your driveway! Get rid of them with one of these methods. Once the weeds are gone, seal or treat the cracks to prevent any future issues with weeds.