Every spring, many people, in colder states around the country, get to become reacquainted with their driveways that were covered by snow and ice all winter. When the snow and ice melt, homeowners should take note of the kinds of damage they see as it can determine what kinds of driveway repairs are needed. Sunken driveways mean something different from the various kinds of cracks you get. When you pay attention to what has happened to your driveway, you can get the right concrete repairs for your issues.
- If you have cracks that are linear, you need to do something right away. The problem with cracks is they will only get bigger. It is common for small cracks to appear in the asphalt that is used on driveways. This is a normal thing that happens to the driveway as it ages or is exposed to bad weather. The issue is that water can get into the cracks, when it freezes, it expands and widens the cracks. Dirt can also get into the cracks and cause them to expand. It is not enough to put a sealer on the cracks. You need to clean out the cracks and apply a hot sealant. Ant do it yourself crack fillers will not work for the long term.
- Sunken driveways are a sign that the soil under the driveway or the stone is starting to erode. When homeowners see sunken driveways, they need to take a look at their downspouts to make sure they are pushing water away from both the foundation of the home and the driveway as well. When water is pushed towards an area, it can saturate that part of your yard. This can cause the soil to begin to be washed away. It can also cause the stone that supports your driveway to begin the erosion process. Sunken driveways can also be caused by ground that is settling around a new home. The best way to fix sunken driveways is to add a new layer of concrete or asphalt to the area.
- Alligator cracks mean that the driveway contractor or company did a terrible job on your home. When the concrete contractor does a less than stellar job or if they use too much sealants, you may end up with cracks that make your driveway look like a spiderwebs or alligator skin. You need to get rid of the cracked concrete, repack whatever is supporting the driveway (the stone or the soil) and do the driveway all over again. This is the only way to really “fix” this problem. This issue underscores the importance in finding a good driveway contractor to do your driveway installation in the first place.
- Placing vehicles that are too heavy for your driveway or if the ground is loose will result in concrete that is wavy or buckles. This can look very distressing to many homeowners. This can be caused by what is called “frost heave.” When water gets to the soil beneath a driveway and saturates it and then the area freezes, it causes the area to expand. There is often soil movement as a consequence. This can also be blamed on parking and driving vehicles that exceed the weight limit of the driveway. This often happens when people own recreational vehicles (RVs) and park them their driveway. You need to patch the problem areas and then have a driveway contractor add an overlay to the full driveway.
- If your driveway starts to lose its vibrancy, it means your driveway is growing older. This is another normal thing that happens as driveways age. You should take steps to revitalize your driveway because fading can lead to cracking because it means the surface is getting more brittle. What you need to do is go around and put filler in the cracks and then use a sealant on the entire thing. This is often something that bothers homeowners but is a natural thing that happens to asphalt as it starts to age.
Your driveway is one of the first things people see when the approach your home. The kind damage can tell you what kind of repair you need.