A great-looking driveway is everything it’s cracked up to be, but a cracked driveway? Not so much. It’s time for some concrete driveway crack repair, and we’re here to help!
Concrete driveways have a lot of benefits—they last a long time, have a moderate cost, and are easy to maintain. But if they start to crack, you may find yourself worrying about repairs. The good news is that many concrete cracks can be repaired with poly injecting.
If you want to learn more about concrete driveways and crack repair, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for our HandyMan’s guide to learn more.
What Is the Average Lifespan of a Concrete Driveway?
A concrete driveway that is well cared for should last for around 25-30 years. These driveways last longer than their asphalt counterparts, but several variables impact their lifespan.
These factors affect the lifespan of your concrete driveway:
- Installation process
- The environment where you live
- Daily wear and tear
- How it’s maintained
While lifespans do vary, proper care will keep your driveway in tip-top shape for years to come.
How to Maintain Your Driveway
If you want a long-lasting driveway, maintenance is key. To keep your driveway in the best condition, catching issues early on prevents bigger problems from occurring.
Regularly inspect the concrete for hairline cracks, potholes, or pieces breaking off. Even if a problem seems minor, fixing even the smallest cracks will prolong your driveway.
In addition, you should keep your driveway clean to prevent any other accumulation that might cause damage.
Pressure wash your driveway at least once a year. After it snows, shovel your driveway to keep water from seeping into your concrete and freezing. Avoid metal shovels to prevent dents and scratches on the surface.
What Causes Driveway Cracks?
Driveway cracks occur for many reasons. Many of these causes have the potential to lead to big problems. Knowing what to look for can help you avoid serious damage.
Changes in Weather
Weather changes are one of the most common culprits because regular freezing and thawing on the concrete cause it to expand and contract. These contractions are due to the freeze and thaw cycle. These contractions put stress on your concrete, resulting in cracks.
If you have a tree nearby, be mindful of tree roots. When roots begin growing under concrete, it causes pressure underneath. This pressure builds up and becomes cracks once it reaches the surface.
When you install a driveway, the space left between the ground and concrete may begin to settle. Tree growth or other groundwork done near your driveway may also create a gap. As the ground shifts to fill those gaps, cracks will occur or the driveway will become uneven.
An incorrect installation often begins with the foundation. When the right techniques and materials aren’t used, things may shift, erode, or crack.
If you’ve determined that your foundation is an issue, you might need to consider foundation maintenance services to fix it.
While it seems like it can withstand a high amount, concrete has weight limits. Parking heavy equipment or oversized vehicles in your driveway can lead to cracks.
Even if your driveway is strong enough, the ground beneath it might be more susceptible to heavy weight. This is especially true if the ground is softer due to weather conditions.
Don’t Ignore Damage
Take action at the first sign of damage in your driveway. If left ignored, a small problem evolves into a big one. Fix small cracks immediately or call a professional.
How to Repair a Cracked Driveway
If you’ve noticed cracks in your driveway but aren’t sure how to repair them, there are several methods to consider. The best method for your situation depends on several factors, such as the type of cracks, source of the problem, and level of damage.
A poly injection is a viable solution for concrete driveway crack repair. Poly injecting is done by drilling small holes into the slab and injecting polyurethane foam. The foam acts as a crack sealant and helps move the concrete back into its original position while expanding to fill the cracks.
Look for professional grade sealant for cracks if this is a job you plan to tackle on your own.
Demo and Replacement
Concrete driveways with extreme cracking, missing materials, or foundation problems are likely too far gone to repair. When this occurs, your best option is to demo the driveway and replace it.
If your foundation is the culprit, foundation repair services can get it back on track for your new driveway.
DIY Repair vs. Professional Help
So you’ve identified cracks in your concrete driveway, but what now? While some cracks are easy to repair on your own, like vertical cracks, hairline cracks, and diagonal cracks, other problems are better left to the professionals. Call a professional if you discover:
- Structural foundation cracks
- Horizontal cracks
- You’re unable to identify the root of the problem
- Shifting of the concrete
- Deep breaks
These issues are often a sign of bigger problems. Hiring someone to do the job will save you time to spend with your family and ensure things are done correctly. If you want a permanent fix, professional help is the best route to take.
Avoid Costly Concrete Problems, Hire a Professional
If the cracks in your driveway are becoming more than a minor issue that you can’t fix with DIY poly injecting, it may be time to seek help from a professional. Small problems can grow into something costly if left alone for too long.
LUX Foundation Solutions specialize in foundation repair and can get your driveway back on track. Contact LUX Foundation Solutions today to discuss your foundation repair needs.