Know the difference between a concrete driveway replacement and repair to save money on your maintenance!

Concrete driveways are strong, durable, and require little maintenance. Concrete is a favorite driveway building material, even though it can be more expensive to install than asphalt.

Concrete is a mixture of stone particles, water, and cement. It’s pourable in raw form and will adopt the desired shape. Without prior experience, installing a concrete driveway isn’t a DIY job.

This article will go into the signs you should look for to know if issues with your concrete driveway will require a repair or replacement. 

Is your concrete driveway showing signs of aging?

Consistent use of a driveway will cause wear and tear. Think about how much weight passes over–or rests–on the surface. Additionally, severe weather damage over the years can add up. 

The three signs of an aging concrete driveway are:

  1. Cracks
  2. Holes
  3. Stains

The desire to get rid of stains comes down to mostly cosmetic preferences. Cracks and holes could indicate structural damage.

If you want to maintain a high-quality concrete driveway, it’s essential to get ahead of the problem. Waiting to address issues could make problems worse.

Repair or Replace?

A driveway repair involves grinding down the top of the existing concrete and adding a new top concrete level. Repair is the perfect method to deal with persistent stains.

A driveway replacement is the removal of the entire existing driveway, then replacement with a new one. 

Let’s go into detail about how to know if your concrete needs to be repaired or replaced.

A severely cracked concrete driveway requires replacement

The depth and length of the cracks

Take a look at the cracks. There’s a chance you could get away with a repair if they are only surface-level and aren’t very long.

If those cracks go straight through to the foundation, you are looking at a replacement.

The length of the crack that will require replacement can best be determined by a concrete driveway professional.

There’s a hole in the concrete.

This issue requires a similar analysis as the cracks issue.

Repair is possible for holes that don’t go beyond the surface.

If the hole goes down to the foundation, replacement is required.

If there are multiple holes, regardless of depth, it’s best to consult with a professional who has concrete experience.

The concrete shows signs of instability or sinking.

Instability and sinking are signs of a compromised foundation.

Unfortunately, issues with the foundation require more than a simple repair.

If any part of your concrete driveway moves when you apply pressure, it needs to be replaced. 

A concrete driveway can last up to fifty years

How long does a concrete driveway last?

Concrete driveways generally last between 25-50 years. This wide range is dependent on use, weather, maintenance level, and quality of the installation.

If there were any issues with the concrete curing/hardening process, it would take years off the expected lifespan. 

Also, the hardness of the underlying soil plays a role. If on the softer side, there’s an increased risk of shifting. Shifting will damage the concrete above.

Team installing a concrete driveway

When is the best time to install a concrete driveway?

The curing/hardening process of concrete is best completed in ideal conditions: 70 degrees with minimal moisture. 

Concrete driveways installed in colder climates will require longer to cure.

Since there has to be some moisture during the curing process, water might be added to the surface in hot weather to slow down the curing time.

How long does it take to fix a concrete driveway?

The timeframe of fixing a concrete driveway depends on whether you need a repair or replacement.

A repair can take as little as one day.

A replacement requires at least two days—approximately one for demolition and one for installation. These days might be non-consecutive. Your concrete driveway professional will provide guidance on timeframes.

Once work is completed, wait about a week before driving on the surface and a month before parking vehicles larger than a small car.

If you’re not sure, contact a professional.

Getting ahead of the problem will prevent any issues from magnifying in intensity. If left untreated, even small problems that might have needed repair can grow to become a problem that requires replacement.

The concrete professionals at Revere Construction and Roofing are here to serve the Atlanta, Georgia area. Our team has decades of experience handling the community’s concrete needs, and we’d be happy to help you with our expertise.

If you notice any of the above issues with your concrete driveway, give us a call or reach out via our contact page. We provide FREE estimates and will point you in the right direction to keep your concrete driveway in pristine condition!