Driveways are something people take notice of only when they are damaged. Often after winters, people find their driveways in a bad shape due to the freeze-thaw cycle. Apart from winters, there are several other reasons like age, traffic, use of chemicals, etc. that can deteriorate your driveway. While concrete is one of the most durable materials, it is still prone to degradation. Although minor surface cracks are a common scene, large cracks leave you to contemplate over whether to repair or replace your driveway. In most cases, people prefer repairs as it is the most cost-effective way, but there are times when replacement is the only option. Before arriving at a decision, you must consider these factors to make the best suitable choice.
Cracking is a natural occurrence on any concrete driveway. Long, thin lines eventually start appearing as your driveway ages. However, not all cracks call for replacement. Most often repair is the best option when dealing with hairline surface breaks. Although, sometimes these breaks may not indicate the damage underneath.
To determine repair or replacement you can test the width of the crack. If the crack is smaller than a quarter inch wide, filling it with a patching material and resurfacing or resealing will fix the issue. However, if the crack is wider that a quarter inch then replacement is the best solution. While patching can temporarily fix it, replacement will eventually be needed. In the case of spiderweb cracks, resembling an extremely damaged driveway, you will need replacement.
Age of your Driveway
People tend to invest in concrete because of its durable and lasting nature. However, whatever the material used, driveways are prone to deterioration with aging. Concrete usually has a life of about 30 years. If you notice damage at or near this time, replacement is usually the solution, especially if the frequency of the damage is high.
Potholes occur as a result of expansion and contraction cycle occurring underneath the surface of your driveway. They are most likely to occur during winters but can occur even otherwise. Minor cracks through which water seeps can force a freeze-thaw cycle forming potholes. The additional traffic and weather abuse can cause these potholes to damage your driveway. Fixing a pothole depends on how big it is. Huge potholes may call for a full replacement, while if noticed at an early stage you can save the expense through repairs.
While you cannot prevent naturally occurring forces like weather and aging, you can take measures to protect and retain your driveway’s longevity and appearance. Giving it time to cure when installed, regular cleaning, resealing every few years, and attending minor cracks are a few ways in which you can maintain your driveway. While the above-mentioned tips can help you analyze whether to repair or replace your driveway, it is best to consult a professional paving service to arrive at the best solution for your driveway’s condition.