Concrete is an extremely durable material, with most surfaces lasting up to 50 years. However, because driveways are subject to the elements and regular use, it’s not uncommon for them to show wear and tear much sooner.
The longevity of a concrete driveway also depends on the type of concrete mix that was used, how it was installed, and whether or not the surface is properly maintained.
Have you looked at your driveway and noticed some signs of aging? Are you wondering when to replace a driveway? Keep reading to learn about the top four signs that your driveway is due for repair.
1. Visible Cracks
Cracks are one of the tell-tale signs that your concrete driveway needs to be repaired. There are many factors that can cause concrete to crack and separate, including:
- De-icing salt
- Other chemicals/substances
In most cases, driveways have small cracks in them and these harmful substances penetrate and soak into the surface, which worsens the cracks by making them wider and longer.
Visible cracks are extremely common in areas with cold winter months. This is because when it snows or rains, the water seeps into the cracks and then expands. This not only causes cracks, but can worsen existing ones.
If you notice cracks when they first start to form, they may be small enough to be repaired, but long, deep, or wide cracks are more serious damage. In this case, a total driveway replacement may be needed. Large cracks can be patched, but this is a temporary fix.
2. Pitting or Potholes
Another common sign of a problematic driveway is pitting or potholes. Pits and potholes can form due to many reasons, including heavy cars that are routinely parked on the surface or even de-icing salt. Pits and potholes can also be caused by large pieces of hail.
Concrete, like all materials, does age and deteriorate over time, so these issues may also just be part of the surface’s lifespan.
Pits and potholes are not only eyesores, but they create tons of problems. These holes fill up with water, which causes puddles on your driveway. Pits and potholes also soak in water, which can impact the surface below the concrete. This can cause your driveway to crumble or even sink in some areas.
Pits and potholes can be repaired, but the fix is temporary and only buys you a little bit of time. The best option is to replace the concrete driveway entirely versus putting a bandaid on a larger problem.
3. Sunken Areas
Another sign you need to repair your driveway is if you notice sunken areas. Sinking concrete is often caused by drainage issues. Generally, your driveway should be sloped and graded so that water moves off of it and into the gutter or street.
If your driveway is improperly graded or has cracks, pits, and potholes, water isn’t able to properly drain. Instead, the water is absorbed by the foundation of the concrete, which causes the bottom layer to erode. When this happens, it’s common for these weakened areas to sink.
These sunken areas can be fixed by injecting products below the surface to lift the concrete. However, this doesn’t always work. A concrete driveway that is in poor condition should be replaced to prevent further sinking.
4. Drainage Issues
A driveway that’s in good shape shouldn’t experience any kind of drainage problems. Whether it’s raining cats and dogs or snowing, a healthy driveway should allow water to properly drain off the surface and into the street or gutter.
So, what do you do if your driveway retains water with resulting pooling or standing water? This is a sign that there are some underlying drainage issues.
Drainage problems can be caused by an uneven or improperly sloped driveway. When water sits on the surface, it weakens the area and increases the risk of cracks, pits, and potholes.
These issues can sometimes be fixed by installing inlets or curbing to better direct the water. Depending on the severity of the issue, the driveway may need to be replaced.
Contact Cross Construction Services
If your concrete driveway is showing any of these signs, chances are that you’re due for repair or replacement. Don’t let an aging driveway detract from the beauty of your home’s exterior! Now is the time to give your driveway the TLC it needs.
At Cross Construction Services, we have over 30 years of experience in driveway repair and replacement services. We offer free estimates and only use the highest quality concrete that is designed to withstand the test of time and the elements. With 3000 PSI concrete that is four inches thick, you can have the peace of mind that your driveway will last for years to come.
Interested in our services? If you’re in the Houston, Texas area, contact us today! You can reach our team at 713-254-1703.