Concrete is an excellent choice for driveways as it is strong, durable, and easy to maintain. When professionally installed, a concrete driveway gives you a safe space for your vehicle and improves your curb appeal. Additionally, with care and regular maintenance, it’s a surface you can enjoy for a long time.
However, like any other paving material, concrete slabs wear away and eventually need replacement. This leads to the question, how long does a concrete driveway last? When are repairs sufficient, and when is it time for a complete driveway replacement?
A residential concrete driveway that’s properly installed and cared for can last for up to 30 years. It helps to keep in mind that factors like temperature and environmental conditions can also affect the lifespan of driveways. For example, pavements in colder climate areas typically deteriorate faster. However, they should last around 20 years.
Repairs Vs. Driveway Replacement
In many cases, repairing issues with your driveway may be enough to get it back in good working condition. However, there are also instances where getting a replacement may be the wiser, more practical option despite its high upfront costs.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding between enlisting repairs or having your driveway renewed.
It’s normal for concrete slabs to develop cracks over time. Hiring concrete crack and joint repair services may suffice if you see fractures less than a quarter-inch wide. After filling the gaps or joints, professional contractors also reseal and refinish the entire surface to ensure a seamless appearance.
However, for larger cracks, repairs may only offer a band-aid solution. And even after sealing, these crevices can continue to allow water and moisture to seep in and cause trouble beneath the slab.
If you live in an area with cold temperatures, you want to be extra careful. Water penetrating your concrete can freeze and thaw repeatedly, worsening the situation. If you suspect this is causing the cracks in your driveway, getting a replacement is often recommended.
Rainwater pooling in certain areas of your driveway does more than create slipping hazards. This is an indication of drainage problems and can weaken your driveway and cause more cracks to form.
Installing strip drains and replacing your drainage piping are some ways to address this problem without having to replace the entire paving. Enlisting top-coat sealing and waterproofing services can also give your driveway extra protection against water.
On the other hand, a replacement may be due if the water pooling on your driveway has already caused damage. On the bright side, this presents you with the opportunity to improve your drainage system to protect your new surface from recurring drainage problems.
As mentioned above, concrete driveways can last between 20 to 30 years. Repairing can do the trick most of the time, especially during your pavement’s early years.
However, it isn’t the most cost-effective investment to make when your driveway is nearing the end of its lifespan. If you know you’ve had your driveway around for a long while, it’s best to prepare for a replacement.
Signs Your Driveway Needs to be Repaired
Fortunately, keeping your driveway stable and your loved ones safe does not always have to entail costly replacement projects. Actively watching out for these signs and enlisting prompt repairs can help you prolong your driveway’s lifespan.
A depression on your driveway can cause problems like damage to your vehicle’s tires. Still, a single pothole does not require a complete concrete replacement. Enlisting repairs promptly can fix the issue and prevent future damage.
Sloping and uneven surfaces can also appear on your driveway over time. These can create tripping accidents, allow water to penetrate your concrete, and spoil your home’s curb appeal. What’s worse is that these often indicate a problem with the substrate supporting the slabs.
While this problem seems overwhelming, it does not require demolition and installation in most cases. Instead, it can be resolved with concrete leveling, wherein a lifting material is pumped underneath the slabs to bring them back to a normal level.
Seeing interconnected cracks that look like scales on your driveway can make you concerned, but these do not affect the overall strength of your concrete. Moreover, they are typically fixed by short blasting, sealing, and top-coat sealing.
Signs of Wear Within the First Few Years
As we’ve already answered, “How long does a concrete driveway last?” you generally don’t have to worry about a full replacement if your pavement is relatively new. Your driveway will naturally show signs of wear as you use it. If it’s under ten years old, addressing cracking or sinking immediately with professional repairs can do the trick and prolong its life.
Get Answers to Important Questions Straight From the Experts
How long does a concrete driveway last? While driveways generally last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, you can get a better answer by paying attention to your concrete. What is your driveway’s condition telling you? Are the signs you’re noticing pointing to the usual repairs, or are they indications of irreversible wear or damage?
Ultimately, if you are looking for professional advice, the knowledgeable and friendly experts at The Driveway Company are here for you. We’re long-time experts in repairing and renewing concrete surfaces, and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have about your driveway. Whether your driveway needs repairs or a replacement, rest assured that we’ll only recommend what you need. Contact us today to get started!