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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.

Holes

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.