Part of being a responsible homeowner is taking steps to maintain and improve your home on a consistent basis. Regular, small-scale home improvement projects are the sustainable way to avoid headaches and keep your home in good working order. Home repairs and maintenance can be time-consuming and expensive. In order to save yourself time and money down the road, it’s a good idea to be vigilant and watch out for early signs that suggest you need to carry out repairs. For example, look out for signs it is time to repair or replace your driveway. Cracking and potholes are two signs that your driveway either needs repaired or replaced.
Repair or Replace?
But how do you know if your driveway simply needs a repair job or needs to be completely redone? Here are some tips that can help you decide whether repair or replacement is the best way to move forward:
How Extensive is the Damage?
This is the number one thing you should ask yourself when struggling to decide whether you should repair or replace your driveway. The first step is to take an overall look at how many imperfections there are. If the cracks, holes, or uneven surfacing is widespread, replacement may be your only option. It is also recommended to inspect the crevices of the driveway, because their depth can determine whether you should repair or replace. If the cracks, holes, or crevices are more than half an inch wide, and/or more than two inches deep, the problems with your driveway require replacement.
The best way to determine the severity of the problem is to judge how extensive the damage is. You can do this by examining your driveway and, using a tape measure, measuring the cracks and crevices in each area. Repairs are sometimes only a temporary fix: like a band-aid, covering a larger problem. If you have three or more cracks in your driveway that exceed the values above, and they appear in different areas of the driveway, you need to replace it.
How about when you have some deep cracks and crevices, but they only appear in one corner? Well, you can certainly try to just repair them. Chances are that the cracks will be fine until the next thaw/freeze cycle of the winter weather. This solution is probably only temporary, but if you’re content to just patch it up every so often in order to avoid the expense of a replacement, this may be the option for you.
Age of the Driveway
The age of your driveway can help you determine if you can get away with a simple repair job. As a general rule of thumb, concrete driveways usually have a shelf life of approximately thirty years. Asphalt, on the other hand, lasts for approximately twenty five years. If you’ve owned your house and been living in it for a long time, try to ascertain a rough estimate of the age of the driveway.
Did you know that there are ways to tell if your driveway was installed correctly? When we think of construction horror stories, poorly installed driveways aren’t the first thing we think of. However, it is possible to do it wrong. You may be a homeowner who has just had a driveway installed, and are wondering why there are imperfections only a year or two in. You may be a homeowner who, after considering the factors affecting repair or replacement, realize that you need a completely new driveway.
There are a number of ways to determine whether your new driveway was installed completely. Alternatively, if you haven’t got the new driveway yet, inform yourself about the procedure so you’re not looking out at a cracked driveway in a year or two. The quality of the subgrade, the correct concrete mixture, placing joints correctly, grading, and edges, curing, and thickness of the layer are all parts of the process that can impact the quality of the finish. Make sure you ask the right questions, hire a licensed and insured contractor to carry out the work, and you’ll soon have a driveway to be proud of.
A good alternative to full replacement is resurfacing. Resurfacing is the middle ground between minor repair and replacement. It is an excellent option for those who understand that their driveway has too many issues to simply fix patches here and there, but do not have the funding available for a driveway installation. Resurfacing usually requires a professional, but it’s a lot cheaper than re-installment. This is because resurfacing only fixes the top layer of the surface. It’s more thorough than doing a repair job of filling in cracks, but it’s not as extensive as a replacement. A replacement involves going deep into the residential foundations, while a resurfacing only involves peeling off and replacing the cracked top layer.
Resurfacing is the best option if your driveway hasn’t reached the end of its shelf life, but isn’t only a couple of years old. If your driveway is between ten and fifteen years old, and you’d like to improve its appearance, resurfacing may be the best choice for you.
Popular Paving Options
If it’s time to pave a new driveway, popular paving options include concrete, asphalt, gravel, and paving stones. Keeping the curb appeal of your home involves regular driveway maintenance; even if you’re simply replacing worn areas. It is also important to repair cracks and potholes in your driveway as they appear. During winter, the freeze/thaw cycles of harsh weather conditions weakens the surface of your driveway. Additionally, heavy vehicles driving over the compromised surface can create cracks potholes. Badly maintained road surfaces can really detract from the overall aesthetic value of a home, so it’s important to address any issues as soon as possible.
Driveway Maintenance Tips
Driveway maintenance isn’t the first thing we consider when we’re doing routine home maintenance. However, driveway maintenance is important because it contributes to the overall curb appeal of your home. Not only this, but a badly maintained driveway can be hazardous. Driveway maintenance tips including seal-coating, stain removal, and yard edging will dramatically improve the look and safety of your outdoor paving surface.