Choose the right material for your driveway

Choose the right material for your driveway

Reporting by Leslie Benson

What are some common materials used in driveways in Columbus?

Diersing: Your choices are concrete, asphalt and gravel. Concrete is more durable and requires less maintenance. Asphalt tends to crack when exposed to extreme heat or cold. Gravel requires the most maintenance, as it shifts and grass grows between it. Concrete is the most expensive, but is currently comparable in price to asphalt.

Zorich: Asphalt and concrete are the most common options. Asphalt costs less and is more flexible to deal with; concrete is thicker and stronger but costs more. Asphalt driveways will last approximately 10 years. Gravel driveways will last about 15 years. Most concrete driveways should last about 25 years.

Minhinnick: Your options are asphalt, crushed limestone gravel or concrete. I work with mostly asphalt, which lasts 10-15 years it it's properly sealed and maintained. It starts at around $22 per square yard.

What's the best way to fix or prevent driveway cracks? Can it be sealed, or does it have to be replaced?

Diersing: To control where concrete cracks over time, contractors put control joints in about every 10 by 10 feet. That way, they only have to cut out and replace that portion, and not the whole slab, later on, which saves you money.

Zorich: Cracks in a concrete driveway can be filled with caulk-type filler sold in hardware stores. If concrete has cracked badly and shifted due to winter, it will need to have that area removed and replaced with new concrete.

Minhinnick: Use a rubberized crack filler and then seal the driveway, but don't overdo it. Don't ever seal your driveway more than once a year. Oversealing will cause cracks like a jigsaw puzzle.

Can I resurface my existing driveway?

Diersing: Not in Ohio, due to the harsh weather. It's a waste of money. For just a more few bucks, you can tear out the old driveway and get a new one.

Zorich: Asphalt driveways can be resurfaced by putting another layer upon existing asphalt if it doesn't cause water to run toward the garage or doorway. Most asphalt driveways should only be resurfaced once.

Minhinnick: If your driveway is already cracked, I recommend replacing it, because the cracks will eventually return in 3-5 years.

What type of maintenance is required for a driveway?

Diersing: To protect it from deteriorating, use Aquapel or Saltguard sealant every five years.

Zorich: New asphalt driveways should be allowed to cure for 12 months before being sealed.

Minhinnick: Always spray and kill weeds and grass coming up through your driveway.

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