Owning a home can be challenging at times because of all the physical and financial tasks that are required with maintenance. From mowing the lawn and replacing lost roofing shingles to washing the windows, it is easy to see the stressful nature of homeownership. Unfortunately, one element of home maintenance that many owners forget about is the driveway.
Not only is it important for parking, but the driveway also plays a crucial role in your home's curb appeal and value. Thankfully, proper cleaning and repairs will protect the durability and look of your driveway. Of course, understanding the signs that your driveway is in distress is also wise. If you are noticing one or more of the following signs, it is time to repair or replace your concrete driveway.
Over time, the excessive heat, cold, precipitation, exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, and other environmental factors can wreak havoc on the surface of your concrete driveway. This exposure can oxidize the concrete surface, creating a weathered, faded look. Unfortunately, protecting the concrete from the weather and other environmental factors can be difficult.
Applying a sealant to your concrete driveway BEFORE it starts to weather is ideal, but if you are already noticing a weathering, it is important to remember that this is not only a cosmetic issue.
As the oxidation weathers the driveway's surface, it can begin to weaken the concrete, increasing the risk of cracks and potholes.
Cracks and Potholes
Most homeowners will notice one or more cracks in their driveway at one point in time. While common, cracks are a cause for concern. Even minor cracks that are short and thin should be addressed before they spread into larger problems.
Pressure from walking, driving, and parking on the driveway can cause these cracks to form. In addition, they may develop from weathering that was not addressed and repaired.
Covering smaller cracks with a sealant will protect the concrete from moisture that leads to the crack spreading. For cracks that are wider in nature, applying a concrete filler agent to the cracks before sealing will be necessary.
If cracks are left in place, they can spread longer and wider, cracking the concrete and causing potholes to form. Potholes decrease the look of your driveway, which affects your curb appeal and home value, and they can also be dangerous for you and your vehicles.
You, your family, or visitors may trip and fall while walking on a driveway that is covered with potholes. If you drive your vehicle over a pothole, you may damage your wheels and tires or front end. In many cases, this damage to the front end can cause your vehicle to come out of alignment, resulting in a costly repair.
Driveways that are filled with large cracks or potholes will also have an increased amount of rain and water building up on the surface. Also, if your driveway is not leveled or sloped abnormally, water will not drain properly.
If you are noticing water is pooling up on your driveway, consult a concrete specialist to determine the best course of action. Investing in concrete removal and pouring a new, even driveway may be the best solution. Or, installing curbing and inlets that direct water away from the driveway may help improve drainage.
Last, but not least, if your driveway is old, it may be time to consider a replacement. Nothing is meant to last forever, and this applies to your concrete driveway, too.
On average, concrete driveways have a lifespan of around 30 years with proper maintenance. If your driveway is approaching this age and you have already completed repairs on the concrete, it is most likely time for a new driveway.
Maintaining a driveway should not be stressful. With this guide and a professional's help, you will be able to determine if it is time to repair or replace your concrete driveway.Share