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Driveway Repair Tips

Cracks and divots are expected on any driveway, but they must be repaired promptly before they enlarge or seep water into the packed base below. Concrete crack sealing is inexpensive, and patching and resurfacing can also be affordable.

Driveway Repair

Brick driveways may require more substantial repairs, including resetting bricks and regrading the sand base beneath. Other repair options include resurfacing and lifting sunken areas (mud jacking). For professional help, contact Driveway Repair Charles Town WV.

While cracks aren’t the most serious type of damage to your driveway, they do signify a problem that should be addressed right away. Small hairline cracks can easily be filled with a concrete or asphalt crack filler or liquid sealant to provide a quick fix. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences regular freeze-thaw cycles, as the cracks will be worsened by the resulting expansion and contraction of your driveway surface.

Over time, asphalt and concrete will naturally shift and crack due to environmental pressures and changes in the temperature of the soil underneath. If your asphalt driveway has significant cracks or these cracks are more than a few inches wide, this indicates the need for a professional assessment and specialized repairs.

The age of your driveway is also a factor in the likelihood of cracking. Older asphalt tends to be more fragile and will often develop cracks easier than a newer surface. Cracks are more likely to appear on older surfaces after a long period of hot, dry weather, as the concrete contracts and then expands.

Other common causes of cracking include a poorly constructed base or foundation, excessive weight from vehicles or oversized machinery, and incorrect spacing of control joints in the concrete. The latter cause of cracking often occurs if contractors improperly space the control joints during the pour of your driveway, causing the slabs to crack at different times as the concrete ages.

Lastly, wide jagged cracks, especially those accompanied by heaving or settling, can indicate a severe structural problem that requires a complete slab replacement.

If you notice any of these problems, a professional should be consulted for a full evaluation and a quote on the cost of repairing or replacing your driveway. In many cases, addressing the cracks early will help prevent further damage to your driveway and save you money in future repair costs. Very fine surface cracks, or crazing, usually indicate that the concrete dried too quickly during construction and aren’t necessarily an indication of any underlying issues. Cracks that are wider than one inch or that are separated at a control joint should be filled using concrete crack filler or a commercial grade pavement patcher. For best results, place a piece of foam backer rod into the crack before filling with these products.


If your driveway has large areas that have sunken down, it is likely due to major heaving of the ground beneath. This is not easily repaired and often involves digging up the old surface and replacing it with a new layer of asphalt. You will want to call a professional for this type of work as it is much more complicated than simply filling in cracks.

However, smaller sinkholes can be repaired quite easily with cold-patch asphalt or concrete, depending on your driveway surface type. The key is to make sure the surface is free of weeds, dirt and any other debris that could impede the adhesion of the patch material. It is best to grade the area after a rain to soften it up, and then apply the patching material while it is still soft.

Typically, the best choice is hot mix asphalt (HMA), which is heated to about 350 degrees and applied with a special wand. This provides the best seal of any material available and is very effective in repairing cracked surfaces. Cold-patch products are also very good for filling small cracks, but they don’t last as long and do not bond as well.

When the asphalt is wearing away, it creates a series of holes that look a bit like a gator’s back or giant spider web. These are called potholes and they are one of the most common problems on driveways. The size of a pothole can vary from a few inches to a couple of feet in diameter, and they get worse over time as vehicles drive over them.

Potholes are caused by water seeping through cracks in the pavement and eroding the support structure underneath. This can happen more quickly in areas subject to freezing and thawing cycles.

If you notice potholes on your driveway, it is important to repair them as soon as possible. This will prevent the damage from worsening and may help prevent your tires or your vehicle’s alignment from being affected. You can do this yourself by removing any weeds growing in the holes, then sanding the area smooth and pouring in an asphalt filler or patch. If you have access to a plate compactor, this can be used to tamp down the patching material so it won’t easily be displaced by traffic as it goes over it.

Sunken Areas

A sunken driveway can be caused by a number of different factors, including water accumulation, drainage problems, ground movement, soil compaction issues, and even tree roots. If you’ve noticed areas in your driveway that have begun to sink, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential safety concerns.

Before beginning any repairs, it’s essential to clear the area of any vegetation or other debris. This will provide a clean working surface and ensure the repair materials are applied evenly across the entire driveway. In addition, it’s a good idea to remove any oil stains that may be present from the surface of the driveway before proceeding with the repair process.

Once the area is clear, it’s time to begin excavating the sunken areas. This can be done by hand or with a small backhoe or digger. Dig down to the level of the surrounding pavement, removing any loose or unstable material that may have contributed to the sinking. Once the sunken area has been excavated, use a tamping tool or the back of a shovel to firmly compact the soil. This will help to create a strong base that supports the new concrete patch.

Next, apply a layer of gravel to the excavated area of your driveway. Using a shovel or garden rake, spread and level the gravel to ensure it is well-compacted and fills the empty space adequately.

Finally, mix your chosen concrete patching product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the mixture has been prepared, carefully pour it into the sunken areas of your driveway, filling all gaps and depressions. Once the concrete patch is applied, smooth it with a trowel to ensure it is consistent and level with the surrounding pavement. It’s a good idea to follow the curing instructions on the packaging, which may include covering and moistening the repaired area to retain moisture.

By following the above tips, you can extend the life of your driveway and minimize the need for costly repair in the future. Regular inspections and prompt attention to any problems will also help to prevent further damage and safety hazards.

Dirt and Debris

Although the terms “debris” and “dirt” may seem interchangeable in some contexts, they have distinct meanings. Debris refers to any waste material that is scattered after a disaster or construction project, while dirt is soil or earth. Both can pose a safety hazard and cause damage to property.

Driveway damage can occur due to weather, wear and tear, vehicle impact or soil movement. Keeping up with routine maintenance and making timely repairs can extend the life of asphalt and concrete driveways and help avoid costly replacement.

Detecting and addressing small cracks, holes and other distortions can prevent the spread of damage to the entire driveway. Potholes can damage cars and create tripping hazards, while depressions often reveal root upheaval or water intrusion.

Before making any repair, thoroughly clean the damaged area of your asphalt driveway using a hose or pressure washer to remove all dust, debris and vegetation. This can also be an excellent time to spray weeds with a weed killer. If you notice oil stains, use a degreaser to treat them. Washing the surface of your asphalt driveway can also help prepare it for a new coat of sealer or asphalt filler.

For smaller cracks and pits, you can use a concrete patch product or liquid asphalt repair to fill the damage. For large cracks and potholes, you can use a mortar repair compound or a dry concrete patching product. Both products are available at home improvement stores and should be applied while the surface of your driveway is dry.

If you have extensive damage to your driveway, it’s likely time for a complete resurfacing. This involves scraping away the old asphalt and applying a fresh coat, which will cost more than simple repair. However, resurfacing will extend the life of your driveway and help delay the need for full replacement for several years. It’s a good idea to contact masons and asphalt specialists for this type of work, as the job requires skill and expertise to ensure long-lasting results. They can provide recommendations on the best materials to use for your specific situation and address any other questions you may have about your asphalt driveway.

Understanding the Driveway Paving Process

Driveway Paving

A paved driveway adds value to your home and is an attractive property feature. There are many materials to choose from including poured concrete, asphalt, and pavers. Budget and style considerations guide material choices. Your climate should be factored in, too, since some materials handle the weather better than others.


Driveway Paving Summerville SC is more visually appealing and easier to maintain than gravel. However, paving your driveway requires heavy equipment that most homeowners cannot access. It also requires professional paving contractors who have the expertise to ensure a quality finished product. This is why it is important to understand the paving process so that you can be an informed consumer.

First, the existing surface of the driveway is removed. This can involve saw-cutting the old surface and hauling it away for disposal. Next, the area is graded and pitched for proper drainage. This will prevent the water from pooling on the new surface and creating damage over time. Large driveways may need drains installed in strategic locations to manage water flow and minimize potential flooding issues.

Then, the sub-grade is prepared by spreading a layer of geo-textile fabric over the entire site. This material will prevent the soil from shifting when it freezes and thaws, which can create damage to the new pavement. Finally, the sub-grade is topped with a lift of runner-crush stone and compacted in place using heavy machinery. This forms the base of the new road and provides strength to the asphalt surface that will be laid over it.

Once the sub-grade is prepared and both lifts of runner-crush stone are put down, the binder course can be applied. This is the “weight-bearing” layer of asphalt that utilizes bigger aggregate sizes than the top course. We typically install this with a self-propelled paver and compact it with a dual drum roller to ensure a consistent, high-quality finish.

If your new pavement is joining an older paved or concrete surface, a “tack coat” is required to promote bonding and allow for smooth transitions. This is a thin liquid asphalt emulsion that is applied to the surface and then rolled over with a drum roller.

Once the tack coat has set, the final asphalt surface can be put down. We generally use a double-drum vibratory roller to achieve a high-quality finish that will last for years. It is important to work with your paving contractor to develop a maintenance plan that includes regular sweeping, washing, filling of cracks before they become too large and tending to foliage that could be carried by the wind and sprout in the cracks.


The type of material used to pave your driveway is a key consideration for both aesthetic and long-term performance. Popular paving materials include gravel, asphalt and concrete.

A good paving contractor can help you choose the right material for your driveway based on climate and geography. For example, the right paving materials will be flexible enough to withstand freeze-thaw cycles without damaging the sub-grade or leaving unsightly tire marks. They will also hold up well to salts that are needed to melt snow and ice.

Gravel is a durable and economical option that comes in various colors to complement your home. It is a permeable material that allows water to soak through, so the soil underneath can retain nutrients. Another environmentally friendly option is recycled gravel made from crushed concrete that would otherwise be thrown away.

Asphalt is a highly versatile material that is widely used for public roads and highways. It has a low initial cost, and requires very little maintenance beyond periodic resealing. It is also a popular choice for homeowners, as it holds up well to winter weather and resists cracking.

In order to create asphalt, a sub-grade is constructed, which can be made up of clay, sand, loam, or silt. This is then covered with a layer of 1″ minus stone, which is like regular runner-crush but more finely ground. Dependable Paving recommends a 10 inch thick stone base, which is installed in two lifts (or layers).

The first layer is called the binder course and is the weight-bearing component of the asphalt. This uses a smaller aggregate, usually quarters, nickels and dimes, than the top course, which is filled with larger pieces of aggregate. Both the binder course and the top course are installed over a geo-textile fabric, which prevents the underlying soil from sticking to the asphalt and causing premature wear.

Once the binder and top courses are installed, your paved surface is ready to be driven on! Over time, asphalt can become rutted, which is an unsightly and unsafe condition for both pedestrians and vehicles. Rutting can lead to mud, slush and ice that is hard to shovel and can cause cars to skid or spin. It’s important to maintain resealing on asphalt every two to four years to preserve the life of your driveway.


Homeowners have many options when it comes to paving their driveway. They can choose from a variety of materials, including gravel, asphalt, and concrete. In addition, they can select different colors and patterns to match their home. Choosing the right material is an important factor in determining how much the project will cost. The price of the material is typically the highest expense, but labor and square footage also contribute to the total cost.

Choosing the best paving contractor is an essential step in the process. Before hiring anyone, homeowners should request references from previous customers and check out their Better Business Bureau rating and online reviews. Additionally, they should ask if the contractor is licensed and insured. Finally, homeowners should get a detailed quote in writing from several contractors. This will help them compare prices and choose the best option for their budget.

The type of paving chosen will also affect the cost. For example, a concrete driveway is more expensive than a gravel one. Heated driveways are another high-end option that can add to the cost. Also, periodic maintenance can drive up the cost. For instance, a gravel driveway may be the cheapest to install, but it will require raking and replacing lost gravel regularly.

Paved and coated driveways are often a priority for owners of older homes. This is because they provide a safe and convenient way to enter and exit the house. They also offer a calming effect to the environment and can help maintain the value of the property.

In addition, paved and coated driveways are a great alternative to a traditional concrete or asphalt driveway. Compared to these, they are cheaper and easier to maintain. Moreover, they are durable and can withstand heavy traffic and weather conditions.

Whether your existing driveway is in good condition or needs to be replaced, resurfacing may be an affordable option. Resurfacing costs are typically less than replacing the entire driveway and are based on the site’s square footage. Resurfacing is also a great option for old or damaged asphalt driveways, as it preserves the base layer and only replaces the top surface.


Regardless of the material used, all driveways experience some wear and tear that necessitates preventive maintenance solutions. A paving contractor can help you decide what materials are best for your home and provide you with the right care to keep them looking great.

A concrete driveway is durable and requires little upkeep beyond occasional power washing and degreasing. However, the light color of a concrete driveway can stain easily and needs frequent cleaning to look its best. Asphalt is less susceptible to stains but requires routine sealing and resurfacing every three to five years.

Resurfacing your driveway involves replacing the top layer of the paved surface. It is a more cost-effective solution than a complete replacement and can restore your driveway to its original condition.

Asphalt and concrete need regular resealing to protect them from moisture penetration that can crack and freeze the surface, leading to heaves and potholes. Resealing also helps prevent oxidation of the pavement, which is most prevalent in exposed areas.

The resealing process involves preparing the paved surface, which includes eliminating stains and filling cracks. Then, your paving professional will apply the sealant and allow it to dry for up to 12 hours. It’s important to choose a quality sealant that is appropriate for your type of driveway.

Both paver and brick driveways should be regularly sealed with a product made specifically for these types of paving materials. Other generic products may actually contribute to a paver driveway’s deterioration.

It’s important to check for and repair any cracks in your paving surface, particularly those that appear as hairline fractures. Cracks that are left untreated can become larger and create safety hazards for vehicles and pedestrians.

Driveway paving is an excellent way to enhance your home’s curb appeal, but proper maintenance is essential to prolonging its lifespan. Routine resealing, crack repair and weed removal are just some of the steps that need to be taken to maintain your new driveway.

The driveway is a primary point of entry and exit for vehicles and pedestrians, and it’s also an important part of your property’s overall landscape. A properly maintained driveway will improve your home’s curb appeal and value and reduce the risk of accidents and damage to your vehicles and pedestrians.