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Your driveway is a major investment. Regular maintenance and repairs can extend its lifespan, delaying the need to replace it.
Professional contractors like Paving Companies Charleston SC have the tools and equipment to perform the most effective repairs. They can also provide expert advice. Ask about the materials and techniques they plan to use for long-lasting results.
It is normal for concrete and asphalt driveways to develop cracks over time. But it’s important to address them as soon as you can before they get worse. Often, cracks indicate underlying issues, such as poor drainage, soil settlement, or inadequate pavement thickness. Wide cracks can also lead to water or ice seepage, further damaging the surface.
Hairline cracks are usually not a big deal, but they should be repaired soon because they can grow wider over time. It’s also a good idea to repair any cracks that are wider than the width of your credit card because they can be a tripping hazard and allow debris and dirt to enter the surface.
Wide cracks are caused by pressure and expansion from heavy vehicles driving over the surface or by ground movement. They can be more difficult to fix than small cracks because they pull the surface material away from the subsurface. Using a foam backer rod in these cases is recommended. Alternatively, you can use a special flexible concrete crack filler like Polymer Self-Leveling Sealant.
These products are easy to apply and offer a flexible solution that will accommodate the expansion and contraction of the concrete as it thaws and freezes. Before applying, make sure the crack is clean and dry and that it’s a minimum of 1/2 inch wide. Depending on the size of the crack, you may need to chisel or hammer it open slightly before you can fill it.
If the cracks in your driveway are caused by root penetration from surrounding trees or if they result from improper installation, you’ll need to contact a professional. They will need to core test the depth of the asphalt and, if necessary, replace or overlay the damaged area.
If you have a dirt or gravel driveway, regular sealing will help slow the rate at which it wears down. Ideally, it would be best to do this once a year with an oil-based product or a hot acrylic sealer that can be applied quickly.
Potholes are a common problem for driveways, roads, and just about any pavement that gets used. They can be a pain to drive over, cause damage to vehicles, and make the surface unstable, which could lead to further problems. It’s important to fix potholes promptly before they get bigger.
In asphalt driveways, the most common cause of potholes is water or ice seeping beneath the surface and melting, then sinking back into the cracks. These displaced areas weaken the asphalt; then, it gets further cut when cars drive over it repeatedly. The weight of these heavy vehicles causes the surface to be shifted and cracked, eventually creating a hole in the pavement.
Another common cause of potholes is drainage issues. If the pavement is constantly getting wet, it can start to break down and weaken. This is especially true if the area is located in a flood zone where water tends to pool in these spots.
If you’re noticing water or ice in the middle of your driveway, it’s a good idea to call a professional to check the drainage issues. They can advise you on how to fix any problems and, if needed, make repairs.
For a temporary solution, there are some great DIY pothole repair products on the market. These are made from road-grade asphalt and aggregates like sand, crushed stone, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates. These are designed to hold up over time and not be as permanent as a professionally done job.
If you’re interested in this option, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as each product has its specific process for the best results. After the mixture is filled in, it’s important to tamp it down to ensure that the material stays in place and isn’t easily displaced by the weight of cars driving over it. A tamper can be rented at many hardware stores, or you can make your own using a nail and a four-foot-long 24. This will help the mixture to stay in place longer, giving it a better chance of lasting a while without the need for further repairs.
Concrete is one of the most durable materials for driveways, but it can still suffer damage over time. While small hairline cracks are normal and usually not a reason for alarm, large cracks and potholes should be repaired immediately to prevent further deterioration and to avoid potential safety hazards for drivers and pedestrians.
Small cracks and divots can be repaired with a concrete driveway patch or filler, available at home improvement stores. These products are easy to use and require only a clean surface and the application of the repair compound. Once the patch is dry, you can smooth it with a putty knife and paint over it if desired. For larger holes, you may need to use a cold patch asphalt product. This is a thicker material that can be added to the surface of your driveway and is injected with a special pump into recessed areas.
Staining and discoloring your driveway is another common sign that it needs repair. Oil spills, water damage, mildew or mold, and other factors can cause these marks. They may not only be unsightly but also indicate a deeper problem, causing the concrete to deteriorate and crack. If the staining is severe, you can use a concrete cleaner, such as ACT Microbial Concrete Cleaner (available on Amazon), to help remove it from your driveway surface.
For older concrete driveways, a resurfacing treatment may be needed to restore the appearance and extend the life of the material. While resurfacing isn’t a DIY project, many homeowners find it can be accomplished with minimal difficulty. A professional contractor can recommend the best materials for your situation and provide detailed instructions for applying them.
Lastly, after you have repaired any damaged surfaces and your concrete driveway is clean, it’s important to protect it with a sealant. This will help to keep moisture from lingering on the surface and prevent the concrete from drying out, which can cause it to crack and crumble. Be sure to choose a sealant appropriate for your climate and follow the instructions carefully.
Concrete is one of the most durable construction materials, and a well-maintained concrete driveway will look great for years. But, like any other material, concrete can be susceptible to damage over time. Cracks, holes, and discoloration are common issues with many types of driveways. It’s important to repair these problems as soon as possible to prevent further damage and keep your driveway looking its best.
The choice of whether to DIY or hire a professional for driveway repairs can make all the difference in both the quality and cost of your final results. If you decide to go the DIY route, there are several different options available for repairing cracks and potholes. Asphalt sealers and patching products can be found at most hardware stores and are relatively affordable for small jobs. If your concrete driveway has a lot of large cracks, consider hiring a professional for the job.
Bigger cracks, holes, and discoloration on concrete surfaces are usually a sign of more extensive damage beneath the surface. A professional can use various methods to save your damaged driveway, including surface and dig-out patching. In a surface patching project, a few inches of the old asphalt is milled off and cleaned, and new asphalt is poured and compacted. For more severe cases, a dig-out patching project involves completely removing the failed area of the driveway and installing an entirely new section from scratch.
For a more comprehensive solution, resurfacing is an excellent option for concrete driveways. A resurfacing contractor can apply a layer of new asphalt or cement to the entire drive, covering imperfections and making it look brand new. This is a much more expensive option than simply sealing or patching your existing surface, but it will ensure that your driveway looks its best for as long as possible.
It’s also important to note that concrete is more resilient than asphalt and will last longer in most climates. That said, however, asphalt will need resealing much more frequently than concrete. While opting to DIY your asphalt driveway repairs can save you some money, you’ll likely have to spend more, in the long run, to take care of bigger repair projects that could have been avoided with a little more professional help.