The driveway is the path that links the street to your home. Homeowners choose from a variety of surfaces with the most common being concrete or asphalt. Because of the harsh cold winters and the sweltering hot summers, concrete is the choice medium for most Minnesotans. Concrete driveways will last 15-20 years but because of the natural tendency of concrete to contract during the winter and swell in the summer, it is invariable that cracks and divots will begin to appear.
Is it damaged, cracked, or old? And, depending on other influences, will you want your driveway patched, resurfaced, or replaced? Because a new driveway is expensive to install, a resurface might provide the right solution for you. At the end of the day, patching is the last option to consider. However, cracks that are less than 1/4″ wide can usually be patched without future consequences. But cracks wider than 1/4″ may require a more extensive measure of repair. If the cost of a new driveway is beyond your budget at this time, patching the cracks and divots will offer some sustainability until such a time as you can afford a new driveway. With a Minnesota concrete driveway repair, we know there will be several factors to consider, not the least of which personal preference plays a key role.
Driveway longevity is dependent on the type of concrete used, how it is mixed and poured. A professionally constructed driveway should last 15-20 years but could last as long as 30 years. If your driveway is approaching the outer limits of these parameters and it is beginning to show cracks, divots, and discoloration, it is time to replace the entire driveway. It is counter-productive to try to fill cracks and divots only to finally replace the driveway a year later. Patching provides a temporary solution, but in the end, it will need to be replaced.
Are you in the process of selling your home? Your driveway could make or break your home’s presentation depending on its appearance. Do you want your driveway to complement and complete your home? Patching cracks, fractures, and fissures will stick out like a herd of elephants running down Main Street. If your concrete driveway is closing in on that 15-20 year window and beginning to show the wear and tear of old age, then it’s time to think about a replacement.
Before we pour the new driveway we need to remove the old one. Concrete driveways take more time to break up and remove than an asphalt or gravel driveway. Standard procedure is to break up your old concrete driveway into manageable chunks and haul off to a recycling yard. The next thing we would do is evaluate the sub-grade. We will be looking for soft spots, organic material, and whether or not the surface is compactable. If the sub-grade is unsatisfactory, we will need to excavate 5-6 inches of soil and replace it with a compactable class five base material. Following that, we will design your driveway and evaluate the strength and reinforcement of the concrete. We strive for a mixture that will endure the freeze and thaw of the Minnesota winters. Potential cracks are controlled by creating areas beneath the surface that will yield to the expanding and contracting nature of concrete. In order to keep the concrete from drying too fast, we cure the concrete by sealing moisture in for a few days. The surface of a concrete driveway is allowed to dry for a month and finally, the concrete is sealed creating a watertight surface.
If you are in the business for a new driveway or have a driveway in need of repair, we invite you to contact Minnesota Concrete for a free on-site assessment and estimate. We look forward to hearing from you.