In a perfect world, a concrete driveway would last as long as your home did. Unfortunately, there are many conditions that could shorten its lifetime. Exposure to severe weather conditions, bad placement procedures, an inadequate concrete mix, and improperly compacted subgrade can all cause concrete driveway troubles. These troubles might result in discolouration, settlement, scaling, or cracking. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you should rip out the driveway and start over. Structurally sound concrete would allow you to save money by repairing the driveway instead.
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There are several driveway repair options to consider, ranging from engraving concrete with a pattern to resurfacing the driveway with a concrete overlay. Before starting your driveway repair project, you must work out the best repair procedure. This would require you to figure out the cause of any driveway damage. The cost can influence your decision too, so make sure you work out a budget. To help you make a decision, here are four repair options for concrete driveways.
Perhaps the best solution for a driveway experiencing scaling, spalling, or cracking is concrete resurfacing. While common sense would suggest that damaged concrete must be removed, especially if improving the appearance of the concrete is the main goal, concrete resurfacing is equally effective. This would entail resurfacing your driveway with a concrete overlay. However, before you resurface any existing concrete, you must repair the noticeable cracks and clear away any unstable concrete. This will create a solid base for the overlay to bond to. Resurfacing would not only cover up the flaws but improve the appearance of your driveaway overall. By allowing you to choose from various pattern and colour options, this repair procedure gives you creative control of your driveway.
The concrete engraving process, in a nutshell, is staining the concrete and then engraving a pattern. This engraving, or routing, as it’s also known, is carried out using a special routing machine. Since the concrete surface is coloured, and the patterned or routed areas are uncoloured, those patterned areas look like grout lines. For driveways with minor discolouration or cracking, engraving a pattern in the concrete can completely disguise any flaws. This process can take anywhere between a day and a week, depending on the size of the driveway, the weather, and if any crack repairs are required. Choosing a skilled operator should speed up the process too. Because concrete stains spread throughout the surface of the concrete, you don’t have to worry about adding to its thickness.
When concrete begins to sink, the problem is typically due to soil erosion or poorly compacted subgrade. Anyone fortunate enough to have a slab jacker nearby needn’t replace the concrete. Instead, an expert could raise your slab back to its initial position. This is done by pumping a mixture of cement, sand, fly ash, and some other additives beneath that slab. There are several benefits to slabjacking, including that it can be carried out in virtually any weather. Plus, there isn’t any disruption to landscaping, and nothing has to be moved off the slab before work starts. The process is arguably budget-friendly too since the cost to raise concrete is only about a third of the cost of replacement.
Most concrete stains, integral pigments, colour hardeners, and other concrete colouring tactics are weather-resistant and long-lasting. That being said, years of neglect could certainly take a toll, resulting in discolouration. There are numerous causes of driveway discolouration, such as improper colour application, sun exposure, weathering, and absorption of oil and grease stains. Thankfully, this damage can easily be reversed. A new coat of water-based or acid stain can revive the colour of your concrete. After this work has been carried out, you should protect the driveway with a good sealer and a UV-resistant staining product. This will help it to maintain the beauty of your newly coloured concrete driveway, making its appearance long-lasting.
Concrete is a popular material for driveways, and for very good reasons. Since concrete slabs are strong and durable, they offer excellent value for money. Unfortunately, even concrete driveways don’t always last forever. There are many factors that could cause damage, like cracking and discolouration. The good news is, depending on those factors and your budget, you can get your driveway repaired. There are multiple concrete driveway repair options to choose from, so make sure you read about everyone before you make a decision. Whichever method you pick, you can be sure that your driveway will turn out great in the end.