Find Your Best Options for Driveway Repair
It is important to take good care of your driveway. While driveways are built to last, they also experience significant wear and tear. In addition to vehicles driving over the driveway, it is common to use a driveway as a work space for outdoor projects as well as a play space for children.
Driveways do not outright break, but sections of the driveway become damage. If left untreated, the damage will spread throughout the driveway. Even a small flaw in your driveway can be inconvenient. In many cases, flaws in the driveway have a negative impact on tires, causing damage over time if you continue to drive over the same damaged spot.
How often you need to repair your driveway, as well as the type of repair, depends on what the driveway is made out of. Most driveways are made with either asphalt or concrete, but there are also stone, gravel or cobblestone driveways. There are also some hybrid driveways made with a mixture of materials.
There are many types of concrete to choose from, but the differences are primarily visual. No matter which you choose, concrete is an excellent choice for driveways because it is strong and durable. Concrete does well in all weather conditions, and barring any accidents, last on average between 15 and 20 years without needing major repairs. While they are strong, making larger repairs to concrete driveways takes longer. On average, you are unable to use your driveway for a week after a major repair.
It is most common for concrete driveways to experience cracking. Cracking is especially common in colder climates. When moisture gets into a crack, it freezes due to the cold weather. When it freezes, the cracks expand and cause additional damage to the driveway.
There are numerous products to seal cracks in concrete. You can purchase masonry crack filler or sealers from most hardware chains. These products are inexpensive, costing on average under $10. If you have a particularly large crack, it is faster to use a concrete patcher, which is only a few dollars more than other crack fillers. You can also mix your own cement to fill the cracks, but this is more time consuming and expensive than other methods. It is only recommended to mix your own concrete if you can use the remainder in another project.
Small cracks are easy enough to repair on your own, but any extensive damage requires replacing the concrete. Concrete replacement requires a professional landscaping company. Plain concrete slabs are $4 per square foot, or $5 if you want colored concrete. Acid-etched concrete is $8. You may also a gravel bed underneath the concrete, which costs an additional $2 to $3 per square foot.
Asphalt is an excellent driveway material because it flexes across the ground, greatly improving its ability to absorb impacts. It is one of the few materials more durable than concrete, but it requires more maintenance. Asphalt must be resealed every two years to avoid deterioration. The process is not immediate, but without proper care, your asphalt driveway will last for at most five years.
There are a few different types of asphalt available, with most options costing less than concrete. No matter which you choose, it is best to make repairs when it is at least 60 degrees. This allows the material to properly settle. Basic asphalt is $3 per square foot. You can repair cracks with chip seal or a stamped topcoat, both of which are under $5 per square foot. Another inexpensive option is blacktop repair. Whenever you make repairs, you must also apply sealer over the asphalt, which costs between $10 to $25. Most sealers cover up to 300 square feet.
Gravel, Pavers and Cobblestone
Gravel is the least expensive driveway option. You can purchase bags of crushed up stone for $1 to $2 per square foot. It is easy to repair gravel driveways. All you need is additional gravel replace stones or fill in holes.
Pavers and cobblestone are significantly more expensive. Both materials are strong and built with individual pieces. This makes it easier to make repairs, since you remove the individual parts and replace them with new ones. Pavers vary in price based on design, but typically cost between $6 to $15 per square foot, while cobblestone is $13 to $20.
Costs of Major Driveway Repairs
Repairing small cracks is easy on your own, but extensive damage or making large changes to your driveway requires a professional masonry company. In addition to materials, you must also pay installation and service fees, which vary based on the company. It costs more than making the repairs on your own, but the masonry company has all the necessary tools and experience to get the job done.
In addition to local masonry contractors, there are several larger companies to choose from. Western Specialty Contractors employ some of the best masons. The company works closely with their customers, ensuring the job is not only done correctly, but your driveway looks good after the repairs.
Another masonry company for driveway repairs is J&E Companies. While they are one of the larger companies, they function like a local business. J&E has some of the best customer service and has an excellent reputation for installing pavers and cobblestones at reasonable rates.IMS Masonry Inc. is a thorough masonry company, placing a greater emphasis on pre-planning repairs to ensure the driveway is not easily damaged in the future. Their contractors take into account many factors to customize your repair plan, such as how often you use the driveway and the general climate in your neighborhood.