Don’t forget about your concrete driveway when doing maintenance on your home’s exterior. Gutter cleaning, house painting and landscaping may pull your focus, but what about the condition of your driveway, which by itself adds value and curb appeal to your property?
While a driveway made of concrete is one of the most durable and long-lasting, it still suffers wear and tear over time. Learn more about concrete driveway damage and the signs you may need to schedule professional repair.
What Caused the Damage?
The main long-term threat to your concrete driveway is the freeze/thaw cycle and how it affects the building material. Concrete absorbs moisture, which then freezes when the temperatures drop at night and in the winter months. This puts internal pressure on the concrete and it can break, crumble and crack as a result.
The freeze/thaw cycle happens repeatedly, and the use of deicing chemicals — a popular product on driveways ― only accelerates the process.
Another reason for concrete damage could be the erosion of soil beneath the slabs. If the area was not properly compacted with a secure base laid before the concrete was poured, over time the soil will settle and shift, resulting in devastating structural cracks.
Cracks Begin to Develop
Cracks in the concrete surface can range in width and length. If the crack is just a hairline fracture, repairing the problem on your own with a product designed for concrete driveways may be an effective temporary fix, but be warned: Some do-it-yourself concrete crack repair kits only make the issue worse. Since the mixture itself may also be susceptible to the freeze/thaw cycle, it can push the crack apart even further.
Professional repair involves diagnosing the reason for the crack and fixing the root issue, then filling in the crack with a grout designed to bond the displaced surfaces to prevent future problems.
Slabs Start to Sink
You will be able to tell if your driveway suffers from inadequate support because the slabs will start to sink and become uneven. In this case, professional slabjacking is recommended. The team will drill a hole into the affected slab and inject stabilizing grout beneath the uneven surface, raising it until it is once again level with the rest of the driveway.
Many homeowners believe ripping up and replacing the concrete is the only option when slabs begin to sink, but slabjacking is a more cost-effective and efficient solution, allowing you to continue using your driveway within hours after the procedure.
Before you begin to panic after spotting what seems to be drastic concrete driveway damage, consider hiring a professional repair team like Lift-Up Concrete to restore it to its previous functional and aesthetically pleasing condition.