When your driveway starts to show damage or signs of aging, you might be wondering if it is more cost-effective to repair or replace it. A driveway is a significant investment, so you want to ensure you are making the right decision. Here is a look at 8 reasons to consider replacing your driveway.
Driveways Can Wear Out
Even driveways that are made of the best materials will not last forever. Eventually, your driveway will reach the end of its useful life and you will need to replace it. Driveways are exposed to a range of harsh elements, from UV rays and temperature fluctuations to heavy loads, moisture and chemicals. All of these can take a toll on your driveway surface.
Different driveway materials have different life expectancies, with concrete driveways potentially lasting as long as 50 years and asphalt driveways typically enduring around 20 years. Once the driveway approaches the end of its potential lifespan, experts recommend replacing it rather than attempting to repair it as you could end up spending more money in the long run.
An Aging Driveway Can Impact Your Home’s Curb Appeal
If your driveway is starting to crumble, fade or crack, it can be very unsightly and make your property look bad. This can be particularly damaging if you are trying to sell your home as potential buyers may not be interested in a home with an unkempt appearance; they may even assume that the house is not well-maintained in general based on the condition of the driveway. In some cases, you may receive complaints from neighbors or a homeowner’s association if your driveway is not kept in a presentable state.
If your driveway is worn out or old, replacing it is generally a better route than repairing it. A new driveway gives your home’s curb appeal an instant boost that can translate into greater satisfaction with your home and better sales prospects if you decide to move in the future.
Winter Weather Can Destroy Your Driveway
After a long winter, some homeowners get an unpleasant surprise when spring sets in and they find that their driveway has deteriorated significantly during the colder months. The snow and ice that come with winter can be brutal on driveways. When this moisture melts, it may penetrate your driveway surface and get inside of it; once the temperature drops again, the water inside will freeze and expand. This creates pressure that can cause unsightly cracking.
If you use rock salt to melt the snow and ice on your driveway, it can damage your driveway’s top layer even further. Although sealing driveways can help to prevent winter weather damage, driveway surfaces in areas that get winter snow need to be replaced more often.
Your Driveway Has Drainage Issues
When a driveway is in good condition, it will generally not be affected too much by water. However, driveways with drainage issues can incur serious damage from water. For example, a sloped or uneven driveway may experience water running down the middle or pooling in one or more areas.
Anywhere in the driveway that water gravitates will become weaker and eventually form cracks and potholes. While curbing or inlets may help direct water away from the driveway, a full replacement is often the most efficient way to fix damage caused by drainage issues.
Your Driveway Is Cracking
Over time, you may notice cracks starting to form in your driveway. This can impact asphalt and concrete driveways as they age, and it can be exacerbated when substances such as oil, gas and de-icing salt make their way into the surface of the driveway.
Those who live in areas with freezing temperatures in winter must also contend with water seeping into driveway cracks and then expanding when they are frozen. Although it may be possible to repair a small crack, those that are long, deep or wide could indicate more serious damage beneath the driveway and call for a full driveway replacement.
Patching Is Only A Stop-Gap Measure
In the past, you may have bought DIY patching materials to repair small cracks or potholes that have cropped up. However, it is important to keep in mind that these measures are only short-term fixes that can help you extend the life of your driveway slightly. They do not, however, use the materials found in professional repairs and are not considered a long-term solution to damage in your driveway.
Moreover, because DIY patching materials do not completely penetrate your asphalt’s nooks and crannies, small gaps are inevitable. Water will eventually make its way into these gaps, and it can cause damage that leads to even more cracking in the future. Therefore, if you have used DIY patching, you need to keep in mind that you will eventually have to lay down a new driveway surface for a more permanent solution.
Your Driveway Needs Expensive Repairs
If your driveway needs expensive repairs, it is worth getting estimates from contractors for a replacement cost. In many cases, it may cost the same or only slightly more to get a new driveway entirely. The costs of multiple repairs can add up significantly, and a driveway that is full of problems may well be nearing the end of its life.
This means that even if you do correct current problems, you will soon be facing new ones. A full replacement is often a more cost-effective approach to a driveway with extensive damage than paying for major repairs every year. Consider the price difference between repairs and replacement before getting your driveway repaired.
Your Driveway Has Potholes
Potholes are large holes that form in your driveway when the ground underneath expands and contracts. This causes the driveway material to weaken, and pieces of it will eventually start to crumble away, resulting in a pothole. Potholes in a driveway can wreak havoc on your car’s tires and suspension system.
Although they can be filled, they are likely to come back because filling them does not stop the ground below them from contracting and expanding. Moreover, filled potholes do not match the rest of the driveway, which can have a negative impact on your home’s curb appeal.
Reach Out to the Paving Professionals at Dirt Connections
If you need to replace your driveway or you are seeking a professional opinion on whether a repair or replacement is the best approach, get in touch with Dirt Connections for a free driveway assessment and estimate today.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!