Your home's driveway is much more than a utilitarian space. Even though you use it as a parking place or a throughway to the garage, a fresh, clean-looking driveway can step up the curb appeal and give your home a cared-for look.
Cracks, pits, potholes, and other damage don't just look bad - they're dangerous. If you're tired of coming home to a concrete calamity, you have a few options. You could repair the cracks and other not-so-nice looking areas, resurface it, or remove the entire asphalt area and completely replace the driveway.
How do you know which driveway option is right for you and your home? Ask yourself the following questions, which will help you make an informed decision.
Is the Driveway Level?
Some driveway issues don't stop at the cracks. If the asphalt is more than uneven, you may need to replace it. A driveway that has slabs heaving up or is clearly subsiding requires immediate attention. This is a danger to anyone driving or walking over it.
Adding another layer of asphalt onto the driveway just to even it out won't fix the underlying problem. In this case, it's preferable to start fresh, meaning a complete removal of the driveway, followed by a replacement.
How Large Are the Cracks?
Small cracks, that are under a quarter-inch wide, are typically easy to fix. Unless you have a spider web of cracks that run across the entire area of your driveway, a few slim cracks won't require a full professional replacement.
The asphalt pros can easily fill these cracks. If you can't stand the site of the filled cracks or simply prefer a totally smooth surface, resurfacing can give you the look you want. Keep in mind, however, that small-sized cracks are usually cosmetic in nature. Even though they certainly don't add to your home's aesthetics, they aren't likely to cause serious structural issues.
Larger cracks may still fall into the repair category. Depending on the extent of the cracks, you may need to patch them instead of just fill them in. But ultimately, your contractor will assess the cracks and recommend what steps to take next.
How Old Is the Driveway?
Even well-cared-for driveways will start to crack and crumble over time. An asphalt driveway has a lifespan that ranges from 15 to 20 years. How long your driveway lasts depends on some external factors, including how often you use the driveway, how well you maintain it, the weather and climate, and what products you apply to the area, such as rock salt in the winter.
A driveway that is 20 years old or more and has other issues like cracks or holes is a candidate for replacement. But if your driveway is fairly new, then you may want to consider a repair or a resurfacing.
How Many Repairs Have Been Made?
Repairing your driveway by filling and patching the surface is the least expensive way to fix problems. But even though you may not have major driveway issues, a steady stream of seemingly minor repairs may result in the need to remove and replace the whole thing.
Patches over patches over patches create an uneven surface that isn't likely to stand up to the test of time. Adding too many patches and quick-fix repairs may end up costing you more money in the long run. Instead of wasting time and your home improvement budget on a steady stream of repairs that don't truly fix the problem, a removal and replacement can correct the damage completely.
Has your driveway seen betterdays? Contact Metro Paving Company to discuss your options.