Repair or Replace a Damaged Concrete Driveway: which is better?

Damaged Concrete Driveway
Damaged Concrete Driveway

When it comes of a concrete driveway, it’s once in a lifetime affair. It is not every day that a person thinks of creating or repairing a concrete driveway. Most of the homeowners don’t even pay heed to their concrete driveway until and unless it is damaged. However, before considering a repair or a replace, you should look carefully at the type of damage that has been caused to the driveway. If the damage of the concrete driveway is confined to a small area of the total driveway or is isolated in nature then it is better to repair the same. However, if it encompasses a large portion of the concrete driveway then it is far better to replace the structure than to repair it which won’t last for very long.

At times, when the concrete driveway is exposed to prolonged use, it may so happen that cracks appear at surface of the same. But these cracks remain confined to a small portion of the driveway or to a few areas which can be dealt with via repairs only. In such cases, a little cement or slurry along with a putty knife does the trick of undoing the damage easily and in a cost-effective manner.

But when you have used your concrete driveway for about 20 to 25 years and large portions of the same have become heavily damaged, then repairing may not be a good idea. Although it will be cheaper than replacing the damaged concrete driveway, it won’t be long lasting and you would need frequent redoing of the repairing to maintain the same which would pose to be costly on the long run. In such cases, it is best to completely replace the driveway and get a new one in place. Following are some of the instances when replacing would be a better option than repairing a damaged concrete driveway.

  1. Sunken Concrete: Sunken concrete occurs when the sub grade was ill prepared. What is subgrade? Well, subgrade is the soil underneath the concrete slabs which holds the slabs in place. In most cases, it occurs when loose dirt is used for preparation of the sub grade. In such cases, the sub grade often settles down, may be due to rain or sprinkler water, which causes the slab to sink with it. In other cases, compact may have been used as sub grade which also sinks under the weight of the heavy concrete slab. This causes the slab to sink giving an uneven appearance to the whole of the driveway. In such a case, full replacement of the concrete is the best that you can do. The only way to treat this problem as a long-term solution is to remove the concrete from the driveway, replace the whole sub grade with a good quality one which will not sink easily and putting back the slabs in place.
  2. Frost Heave: Frost heave is a common phenomenon in places where the climate is very cold. What happens is, the water which is present in the soil beneath the concrete, freezes as the temperature falls. This causes the soil to expand along with the ice. The expansion of the soil causes the concrete driveway to be pushed up and it gets damaged. This is again a problem with the sub grade of the soil. It is best to replace the soil and consult with a local soil engineer before replacing the damaged concrete driveway. You need to replace the whole sub grade before laying the concrete again in place to undo this kind of damage.
  3. Deep Cracks which are Widespread and Sunken: This is a problem which may be caused by either the sub grade used or the weight of the vehicles that move on the concrete driveway. In this type of damage, the cracks which occur on the concrete are widespread and occur through the whole surface of the concrete driveway. These deep cracks cause portion of the concrete driveway to sink beneath the rest. If left, these cracks will allow the moisture to enter the sub grade and form damages which are discussed above. In such cases, it is best to remove the whole concrete driveway, fix the sub grade if needed and lay fresh concrete again which will take care of this kind of damage.

While cost may be an issue when it comes to choosing between replacing or repairing, you should give first priority to the type of damage that has occurred in the concrete driveway. The cost of a repair usually varies depending upon the area of damage and the technique that has been used. However, replacement of a damage concrete driveway may cost you about $6 to $9 per square foot.

When you are in Seattle and are confused whether to replace or repair a damaged concrete driveway, you can rely on the sound advice of Sound Concrete Co. Sound Concrete Co is an expert when it comes to laying or repairing concrete and they are proud of their durable, properly finished and strong concrete works that will provide you with the value for money. They have the reputation of being one of the best concrete workers of Seattle for the past two decades and proudly serve the likes of Bellevue, Shoreline, Federal Way, Bothell, Issaquah etc. Sound Concrete Co uses the ASTM standard for judging their concrete strength and also uses stealth fiber to further prevent the appearance of cracks on concrete driveways.

So what are you waiting for? Call Sound Concrete Co now and get the best solution for your damaged concrete driveway.

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