Driveway repair may not be the first thing you think of when considering a home improvement project. The problems in your driveway tend to happen gradually over time, so they may not be suddenly obvious. However, driveway repair is a great way to improve the appearance and function of a very noticeable part of your property.
There are different types of driveway repair that may need to be done. Let’s consider a few reasons that you should perhaps consider repairing and the cost for concrete driveway:
· To fix the cracks – There is no getting around it; concrete will eventually crack. It may start small, but a crack only gets bigger. Fixing a small crack is easier and less expensive than dealing with a large crack.
· To help you sell – If you are trying to sell your house (or think you might consider selling at some point), you should keep in mind that the driveway is one of the first things a prospective buyer will see when they come to look at your property. A driveway that is in good shape projects a much more positive image. It also tells the prospect that the driveway is not a repair project that will have to be dealt with anytime soon – this means a greater perceived value.
· Safety – Cracks turn into bigger cracks, and eventually a crack can become a pothole. This is uncomfortable to drive over each day, and it’s not good for your cars. Perhaps more importantly, if your kids or other family members ride their bikes into a hold in the concrete, it can lead to injury.
· To add more color – Aside from cracking, concrete can become discolored and stained over time. This is unsightly, and is easily fixed with a driveway repair.
The best way to handle cracks and other damage in your driveway is to avoid them to start with. While your driveway is in good shape, apply a good concrete sealant over the entire surface. This will go a long way toward protecting it against harsh weather conditions, the constant exposure to the sun, and staining from automobile tires and engine fluids. You should do this every few years to keep your driveway in the best shape possible.
To repair the driveway, some preparation is required. First, check the weather report. You want to do this project when there is no rain forecast for a few days, so that the driveway has time to properly set. Trim grass away from the edges all around the driveway, and remove oil stains as much as you can (there are driveway cleaning products available for this, but soap and water usually works fine).
The procedure used for the driveway repair really depends on the extent of the damage. A minor crack can usually be patched with a sealant that fits in a regular caulking gun. There are also crack sealers that are latex-based, which can be poured into the crack.
For larger cracks or ruts, you may need to use an asphalt patch mix. Actual potholes need to be filled in – this is done with a product commonly called a “cold patch”. Cold patch is basically a mix of materials that produces a coarse filler compound.
Once the cracks and holes are filled in, you need to level the driveway. If too much filler has been used, remove as much as needed to make the surface level. Having a bump in the driveway is just as undesirable as having a pothole.
After leveling, mix the driveway sealer to make sure it has a uniform consistency. Pour some of it onto a section of the driveway, and spread it with a squeegee applicator tool. After spreading, to eliminate the lines left by the squeegee, use the reverse side of the tool (the brush). This should give you a smooth finish. After the sealant has dried, apply a second coat.
You should figure on not using the driveway for a couple of days after doing the driveway repair, in order to let the filler and sealant time to completely dry and set. It might be an inconvenience, but it’s worth it.
Your driveway is an important part of your property that gets used virtually every day. Proper care, maintenance, and periodic driveway repair should be part of your plan as a homeowner in order to keep it in top shape and looking great.
David Gipson works with concrete professionally, and is the owner of Concrete Contractors in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit [http://concretecontractorsatlanta.net] for lots of helpful information about driveway repair.
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