Should You Repair or Replace a Concrete Driveway?

by | Last updated Sep 17, 2019 | Published on Sep 16, 2019 | Concrete Settling

Winter weather brings a ton of snow, which makes for a gorgeous view but can be very damaging to a concrete driveway. When homeowners experience any damage to their driveway because of the winter weather, one question comes into play. Is it better to repair the driveway or go ahead and replace it? The answer, of course, is that it depends.

What to Expect During the Winter

The leading cause of damage to a concrete driveway during the winter is the water getting into small cracks and freezing. It shifts the concrete and causes more cracks as well as larger cracks. Snow plows can also damage the driveway if they remove the protective seal over the concrete. It allows water to get into the concrete, which can cause cracks when it freezes. Another issue is the potential for flooding, which can cause the concrete to move and crack if there is not sufficient drainage for the driveway.

Damage to Watch Out For

The two main issues for homeowners to look for will be sunken areas of the concrete and cracks. A sunken area is typically caused by poor drainage due to improper installation of the original driveway and can be a severe issue. Cracks can be minor, but homeowners need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t become more extensive and broader over time.

Concrete Work is Being Performed at a Home

Determine the Severity of Damage

Small cracks are usually not much of a concern, as long as they stay small. However, they are something for a homeowner to keep an eye on, especially during the winter months when the cold weather can cause water in the cracks to freeze. The winter weather can quickly cause small cracks to become much more significant, requiring a more extensive repair or a replacement of the driveway. If there are larger cracks through the concrete or it has started sinking, it’s time to look into whether to repair or replace the driveway.

Decide Whether to Repair or Replace

Smaller cracks can typically be repaired, and the driveway can be resealed. However, it is a good idea to have an expert look at the driveway before making any decision. The expert might notice issues with the construction of the driveway that will exasperate any cracks and lead to further problems within the next year or two. If the driveway has large cracks, has sunken areas, or is older and overall in poor condition, it might be better to consider replacing it instead of repairing it year after year.

Paver Smoothing Fresh Concrete

A concrete driveway should be excellent through the winter months, so long as there is no damage to it. However, if it is damaged or starts to crack, it’s time to have it inspected and see what needs to be done. In many cases, it will be possible to repair the driveway. But an expert can let homeowners know if a replacement might be a better option to prevent the need for further repairs. If you have any concerns with your driveway, contact us today for a thorough inspection.