Weighing your options for driveway maintenance.
Driveways take plenty of abuse daily. In addition to cars going in and out, driveways serve as practical workspaces for adults, or play areas for children.
Understandably, over time, driveways fade and deteriorate from prolonged exposure to the elements, engine oil leaks, stains, erosion, and the sheer weight of vehicles. Combine these conditions with natural aging, and you have a tired-looking driveway that kills curb appeal. If cracks, potholes, bad drainage, and other signs of distress start forming, it may be time to repair or replace the driveway.
5 Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Your Driveway
Before you head out, take some time to inspect your driveway and look for these signs.
If the cracks and holes are minimal, you can hire someone to repair them. The key is catching them early before they do damage to your driveway.
Water that is trapped below a gravel surface can create potholes. If rain and snow are not draining properly, potholes will continue to reappear in your driveway.
Natural geological movement and constant pressure from vehicles can also weaken the surface and cause cracks and potholes. You might need to replace the driveway entirely if you are dealing with multiple potholes,
3. Shifting foundation
As mentioned earlier, repairs are only for minor cracks and holes. If the driveway surface has deep cracks and the asphalt has shifted, it means that the foundation needs a replacement.
4. Poor drainage
If you notice pools of water building up on the driveway, this could be a sign of a serious problem. It means your underground drain is clogged or broken, leaving standing water on the surface, which could weaken your driveway.
5. Weathered look
If your driveway is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it. Driveways are exposed to bad weather, harmful UV rays, damaging chemicals, and daily wear and tear, so they will not last forever.
Driveway Resurfacing vs. Driveway Replacement
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you decide between resurfacing and replacement.
What is driveway resurfacing?
Resurfacing involves removing and replacing the top layers of the asphalt surface. Once the old layers are removed, prep work on the pavement begins. This includes profiling, repairing, and sealing. The final top layer of asphalt will be applied when the surface is ready.
When should you resurface or completely replace a driveway?
Replacing an entire driveway can be expensive, which is why most homeowners prefer resurfacing. Here are a few things to consider before resurfacing your driveway.
- Cracking size
As a general rule, if the cracks on your driveway are less than a quarter-inch wide, you can try patching them and then reseal or refinish the entire surface for a uniform appearance.
If the cracks are bigger than 6.5mm, then repairing them is simply a band-aid solution. Deep cracks allow water to seep in even after a patch, which can be a grave problem if you live in an area with freezing temperatures.
For large cracks, we recommend that you replace your driveway entirely.
- Driveway material
The material of your driveway is another element you should consider before deciding to repair or replace the surface. For example, natural cobblestones are easier to fix – you could simply add a couple of cracked pavers – while concrete requires resealing or resurfacing.
There are a few ways you can fix drainage issues without completely replacing the driveway. These include installing strip drains, adding kerbing, or replacing the drainage piping.
However, if the damage is irreparable, you will need to replace your driveway to maintain the integrity of the new surface.
As a rule, asphalt driveways must be replaced after 20 years and concrete driveways after 25 years. Repairing a driveway this old is simply not practical.
An old, worn-out driveway may not match the look of your newly renovated home. Replacing it with a modern material will improve your home’s curb appeal and value.
Is It Time to Replace Your Driveway?
Although resurfacing can fix many asphalt driveways, it is not a permanent solution. If cracks and potholes are big and deep, they could cause structural damage that resurfacing cannot repair.
Driveway damage that is caused by growing trees is often irreparable unless the roots are removed.
If strip drains, kerbing and drainage re-piping do not solve your driveway issues, you may need to order a complete replacement.
In most cases, replacing the asphalt is a cost-effective, long-term solution. To do this, professional road surfacing experts will remove the damaged asphalt by hand, through profiling, or with a bobcat. Once the top layer is removed, new hot mix asphalt will be laid on the surface to cover the repaired section completely.
Ready to replace your driveway today?
Homeowners and business owners should keep their asphalt driveways in good condition. Patch up cracks and holes before they inflict damage, and make sure underground drainage systems are in tip-top shape.
Driveways in poor condition can damage your vehicles and cause accidents to people. Moreover, driveway maintenance is not only important for aesthetic and safety reasons. If you own a rental property, it can be difficult to attract potential tenants if your driveway looks worn out.
If you need an asphalt driveway resurfacing or replacement, Road Seal Australia is ready to serve you. We offer reliable and affordable asphalt and bitumen road sealing and surfacing solutions for a diverse range of pavement requirements.
Our commitment to meeting the highest Australian construction standards enables us to provide generous warranties on all our work. Some of our materials and procedures include:
- Bitumen for pavements (AS 2008-2013)
- Bituminous emulsions for pavements (AS 1160-1996)
- Bitumen testing (AS 2341)
- Asphalt sampling and testing (AS 2891)
- Aggregates sampling and testing (AS/NZS 1141)
If you need to replace your driveway in NSW, we are here to help. Here are some of the innovative solutions we offer:
- Residential driveways
- Safe and ultra-smooth road surfaces
- Carpark surfaces for commercial or industrial facilities
- Safe and durable sports court surfaces such as basketball courts and netball courts
- Kerbs, gutters, pothole repair