Driveway Repair, Asphalt, Concrete
Whether you have a concrete or asphalt driveway, it’s important that you preserve its value with regular maintenance.
Angie's List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies, went to the driveway sealing and repair experts for tips on keeping your driveway in top shape.
To preserve the life of your driveway:
- Have it resealed every two to five years, depending on the type of drive and its condition. Asphalt drives require more frequent resealing than concrete.
- Patch any cracks or holes in asphalt drives prior to sealcoating.
- Avoid gas and oil spills, as they can leave hard-to-remove stains, especially on concrete.
- Rock salt is also damaging to driveways, especially newer ones, and can lead to cracking.
- Homeowners often try to seal a drive themselves, but it’s better left to an experienced professional. A mistake could be messy and costly to repair.
Both concrete and asphalt driveways have their benefits and drawbacks so keep the following in mind when deciding which to choose:
- Maintenance: Asphalt driveways typically require more maintenance than concrete drives, but are less expensive to install and easier to repair. However, natural elements, like sun and rain, take a toll on asphalt driveways.
- Repair: Cracks and holes can be filled and repaired more easily with asphalt, whereas damaged sections of concrete driveways typically must be replaced instead of repaired.
- Durability: Concrete drives can hold more weight and can last for 30 years or longer without major maintenance. Concrete is susceptible to salt damage so be careful if you live in an area with snowfall.
- Scheduling: Try for a day when the weather is cloudy and overcast. Concrete placement in weather extremes is very hard on the material. Concrete works best when the air temperature is in the mid 50s.
- Drawbacks: A common complaint with concrete driveways is that they stain easily; stains are tough to remove. And think twice about asphalt if you have light-colored flooring in your home – asphalt is easily tracked in and can leave dark spots on your carpet.
- Appearance: Concrete driveways can be enhanced with pattern-stamping and coloring.
- Installation: Concrete driveways require a solid foundation to be laid on. Otherwise, it will crack over time, especially in colder weather climates. The slope of the driveway should also be considered because, over time, concrete can shear off of the foundation and lead to unwanted cracks.
10 hiring tips for your driveway project:
- Do your homework on the various options for driveway materials.
- Lead times can be up to several weeks, so plan appropriately when talking with contractors.
- Check out the driveway contractor. Verify the contractor is insured and check out the contractor’s previous jobs - ask for photos of previous work done. See if they show any signs of problems.
- Get the job details in a written estimate. In order to obtain an accurate estimate, have a sketch of the home and the desired driveway footprint. Walk the site with the paving contractor and have him/her mark where the paved driveway is to lay.
- Talk to your contractor about an accessible area for materials. Ask about clean-up.
- Talk to the contractor about installing proper slopes and drainage. Otherwise, you may end up with water pooling on the finished driveway, or draining into your garage or home.
- If there are any municipal pipes that need to be raised to the finished height of the driveway, find out if the paving contractors’ quotes include performing this task.
- Driveway specifications may be subjected to certain community rules. To avoid wasting time and money, check if building a concrete driveway will result in any violation.
- As the crew begins work, there will be some dust, dirt and noise from the equipment. Keep all windows and doors closed during construction.
- Don’t leave your car in the garage that day!