When I laid my concrete driveway I used wood to separate the concrete so that in the future I could remove the wood and position proper expansion material. Now I find I can't remove the wood as it is firmly 'stuck' in the joints!! Can I leave the wood in place and will it serve the purpose of an expansion joint. The wood is ordinary cheap pine.

  • Does it ever freeze hard where you live? Wet/dry expansion/contraction is one thing, but a hard frost 30 times every winter will shorten its life.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 18, 2021 at 10:37
  • Related: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/12056/… Dec 18, 2021 at 15:06
  • 1
    The wood will certainly rot over time, and as noted, freeze/thaw cycles might be unkind. If you're comfortable with a circular saw, you could cut a kerf (maybe 2 if necessary) down the middle of the wood and remove it. Dec 18, 2021 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


The wood has most certainly taken on more moisture since it has been installed and has swelled into place, locking it in firmly. If you can be patient, and there is a "dry spell" in your local weather patterns, use that time to remove the wood strips.

There will be some concrete bonded to the wood, unless you coated the wood with oil before pouring. To overcome the bit of "grab" the concrete has on the wood, use a block of wood the same width or thickness of the edges and use that as a drive block along with a hammer driving down on the joints to break it loose. Concrete hates vibration. This should allow you to set a 2" screw into the joint and with another block of wood under the prybar or hammer to keep from chipping the concrete, draw the wood out of the joints. That is if the wood has shrunk sufficiently enough. That may take a month of non rainy weather, like a drought season....

  • Thanks for that. I guess I,m going to have to be patient! That,s what you get for being stupid in the first place!
    – Ken
    Dec 19, 2021 at 11:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.