Even though a driveway is simply a long, flat stretch of hard surface, they can actually be expensive to install. That’s because having a proper foundation is key to a quality driveway. For this reason, many homeowners hesitate to completely replace their driveways. Instead, they just deal with the cracks, bumps, and crumbling surfaces by patching up over covering over the bad spots. While this can cut costs, it can actually cause more headaches in the future. There are several things to consider when repairing your driveway.
If you live in a colder climate, the cycles of freezing and thawing will eat away at your driveway, causing cracks and divots. Vehicles weighing thousands of pounds driving over the driveway surface every day will add to this damage. These small cracks and divots are minor damage, really, and these types of things are what normally call for simple driveway patching. If the cracks are less than a quarter-inch wide, or don’t seem very deep, then they can be repaired easily using a liquid crack filler. However, cracks in the driveway that are wider or deeper may indicate larger issues below the surface, and filing them may only offer a temporary solution.
You can repair some driveway holes with patching materials that you tamp down to create an even surface on your driveway. However, these repairs are only temporary; water will eventually seep in between the old material and new material and re-open the holes or cracks. If you plan to repair your own driveway with patching, you should expect to pay between $3 to $5 per square foot. This would be about half the cost of hiring a contractor to do the repairs.
However, you will eventually have to replace asphalt or concrete driveways that have any deep or numerous holes or cracks. You may be able to push the replacement back a few years with patching, but the driveway will look less than appealing during this time.
Asphalt driveways can usually last 20 years, and concrete driveways can last up to 25 years. If your driveway is approaching any of these ages, it might be a good time to just move forward with a complete replacement. Long-term exposure to the elements can weaken material and make it fail. It’s not worth the time and effort to attempt to patch old driveways; new issues will most certainly pop up as soon as you’ve patched the old issue.
Outside Factors in Driveway Replacement
Sometimes, the reason for replacing a driveway is aesthetic; having a driveway that looks good with a home is important to some homeowners. This could be especially important for a homeowner that is attempting to sell a house. Potential buyers may be turned off by a cracked and heavily patched driveway. In this case, it is probably a good idea to just redo the driveway, rather than patch it. Patches are clearly visible, and as mentioned, can cause problems down the road when least expected.
Resurfacing Your Driveway
If you don’t want to pay a lot of money to get a new driveway, but the damage to your driveway needs more than patching, consider resurfacing. With resurfacing, an experienced contractor will essentially remove the top layer of your driveway and replace it. It will make your driveway appear brand new, but will cost a fraction of what it would cost to replace it. If there are no issues with the foundation, the cracks and divots that get covered during resurfacing will remain covered for quite some time.
Contact Dirt Connections To Learn More
When you are considering doing any repairs or replacements to your driveway, you need someone who is willing to work with you to figure out the right option for your driveway and home. Dirt Connections has the experience and quality customer service record that homeowners look for when deciding which trusted home improvement company to partner with. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your driveway.