It isn't always easy to make the decision to either seal, replace, or repair your concrete driveway. After all, it can be a major expense, and it's important to make the right decision so that you don't have more problems in the future. So, before you decide which option is best, take these things into consideration.
When to Repair Your Driveway
Repairing your driveway is a good option if you only have a few small cracks in the concrete. Generally, small cracks in concrete are easily repaired. However, if the cracks in your driveway are widespread or deep, patching the cracks may only be a temporary solution. If this is the case, you should consider resurfacing the driveway completely or replacing specific sections of the concrete. Typically, if it will take you more than two inches of concrete to make the driveway repairs needed, you should consider resurfacing or replacing it. If you decide to repair the concrete, make sure you apply a new sealcoat after the repairs are complete to protect the new concrete.
Resurfacing or Replacing Your Driveway
Concrete doesn't last forever. There will come a time when replacing the driveway completely or at least resurfacing it is your best option. Typically, concrete driveways have a 30-year lifespan, so if your driveway is nearing 30, there's a good chance you'd be better off replacing the driveway instead of repairing it.
In addition to age, you need to take the type of problem you're having into consideration when you're trying to determine whether you should completely replace the driveway. For example, if sections of your driveway are sinking, replacing the driveway is a good option because sunken concrete indicates that there is a problem with the subgrade under the concrete. You should also consider replacing your driveway if portions of it have signs of frost heave, which is caused by moisture in the ground freezing and pushing the concrete upward.
If you don't want to replace your driveway completely, ask your contractor if resurfacing the driveway is a good option for you. When a driveway is resurfaced, the contractor removes the top layer of concrete and replaces it with new concrete. This way, you get the appearance of a new driveway without the cost of a complete replacement. Keep in mind that resurfacing your driveway isn't always an option. If your driveway is too badly damaged, you might have to replace it completely.
Applying a Sealcoat
Regardless of whether you choose to repair, replace, or resurface your driveway, you should consider adding a sealcoat over the concrete when the job is complete. Applying sealant to your driveway, and reapplying it every few years, helps prevent water, snow, ice, and car fluids from breaking down the concrete over time. So, once the work on your driveway is complete and the driveway is sealed, ask your contractor how often you should apply a new sealcoat to the driveway so that it lasts as long as possible.
Deciding whether or not you should repair, resurface or replace your driveway can be stressful. However, if you take into consideration, the age of the driveway and the type of repairs needed, you should be able to make an informed decision rather quickly.
For more information, contact LSC Construction Services, Inc. or a similar company.