Many people make the mistake of forgetting to budget for ongoing expenses after purchasing a home. This is understandable, given that the average home in the US sold for nearly $508,000 in 2022.

However, home maintenance and improvement are some of the most important costs to account for. Many people choose to invest money into renovating their driveways, but it’s not always easy to recognize whether you need a replacement or a repair.

Both have important nuances to understand, and the process is simpler than most people anticipate. Let’s explore what you need to know about replacing a driveway vs repairing it.

Replacing a Driveway

Concrete driveway replacement is most appropriate for people who want a brand-new appearance for their driveway. The same can be said for driveways that have a significant amount of damage. This is fairly common after natural disasters, as falling trees and debris can cause significant damage.

There’s something to be said about the age of your driveway, as well. While most driveways can last well over two decades, they’ll eventually start to show their age. Depending on the condition your driveway was in when you purchased your home, it may need to be replaced sooner than later.

Keep in mind that replacing your driveway is much more expensive than driveway repair. It’s also a more complicated process. It’s possible to repair certain driveway problems on your own, but you’ll need to hire a professional to replace your driveway.

Repairing a Driveway

Repairing your concrete driveway is the most appropriate choice in most circumstances. Driveway chipping and staining are common issues that homeowners encounter, but it’s possible to handle these problems on your own.

In general, you can quickly repair your driveway if the damage is less than 1/4 inch wide. You can also take advantage of a process known as surface patching.

This involves milling the top layers of a damaged portion of the driveway. The hole is then cleaned before a new concrete is added. It’s then compacted and leveled off.

For larger segments of damaged driveways, you may need to dig them out and patch them. This often isn’t recommended, as it can be lengthy and expensive.

Depending on the size of the area that needs repair, driveway installation might be more appropriate. Unless you have substantial experience with driveway repair, you should work with a professional contractor.

Deciding Which Is Best

The easiest way to decide which is best is to determine if the issues with your driveway can be fixed in a reasonable amount of time without spending a substantial amount of money. For example, your driveway might have numerous chips, cracks, and stains.

It would likely be impractical to repair each separate issue, making replacement more appropriate. The urgency of the issue also plays a role.

If you don’t care to resolve the problem quickly, you might want to go with repairs rather than replacement. You can repair numerous problems over a long period instead of handling all of them at once.

If you need results as fast as possible, driveway replacement is the superior option. Regardless of what you choose, it is essential to understand what the process will involve.

This will help you mentally prepare for the project and budget appropriately. The average homeowner spent approximately $6,000 on home maintenance in 2022, so having this foresight can make your life easier.

Driveway Maintenance Tips

There are certain tips you can keep in mind to maximize your driveway’s longevity. One of the most important is filling cracks as soon as possible.

You can use a masonry chisel to remove loose materials. This allows you to brush away debris before using crack filler to patch it. You can prevent cracks by annually sealing concrete driveways.

Many people overlook that shrub and tree roots can push up through the ground and cause cracks in your driveway. You can eliminate this issue by removing these plants or trimming their roots.

It’s imperative to clean motor oil stains as soon as possible. Motor fluids can seep up to 1/4 inch into concrete. Over time, this can soften the material and make it more prone to damage.

If the stain is recent, you can use grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and warm water. Older stains require extensive scrubbing and biodegradable cleaners.

When scrubbing your driveway, never use a wire brush. This can damage its surface. Instead, use a regular scrub brush.

Finding Driveway Contractors

Before moving forward, there are certain attributes to assess when searching for a professional. One of the most important things to consider is their reputation. What do other people have to say about their experiences?

Were they satisfied with the results they got? The answers to these questions will go a long way toward helping you find the ideal choice. It’s also essential to look through their past projects.

Reputable companies often have examples of what they’re capable of on their website. What is their pricing like?

You often get what you pay for, so it’s never recommended to choose the cheapest option. You also don’t have to pay as much as possible, though.

There’s a point of diminishing returns regarding what you pay, and spending more money doesn’t always equate to better results. Somewhere in the middle of the price range is often the best option.

Do they often handle situations like yours? The last thing you want is to waste time communicating with a company that can’t meet your needs.

Don’t be afraid to continue your search elsewhere if something seems off. With enough due diligence, you’ll find a professional who’s capable of handling your needs.

Get Started ASAP

Whether your goal is replacing a driveway or repairing a driveway, it’s imperative to take action as soon as possible. This will ensure you prevent additional issues from arising while keeping your home’s curb appeal pristine.

California Clean & Seal offers high-quality outdoor remodeling, restoration, and cleaning services to our clients. We strive to deliver fast results without sacrificing quality. You’ll learn more about how we can improve your property’s appearance when you get a free quote today.