Concrete is a tough material for creating driveways, but over time it can crack and chip. Winter’s freeze-thaw cycle and deicing salts can also cause damage. While repairing these problems can save money in the short term, the structural integrity of your concrete will ultimately deteriorate and it may be time to consider replacing your driveway.
Replacing a concrete driveway can be more expensive than repairing, but it will last longer and is more resistant to weather conditions. A new concrete driveway will be poured with higher-quality materials, which will allow it to withstand more wear and tear. It is important to choose a contractor that offers a warranty and has experience working with concrete.
It is possible to replace your existing concrete driveway replacement with a new concrete surface without removing the old one, but this is a major project that requires a lot of work and skill. The cost of this type of project includes the removal and disposal of the old concrete, excavation, subbase preparation, concrete delivery charges, sand or gravel for the base layer and installation labor.
Whether your concrete is cracked or discolored, you can get a fresh look by hiring a professional to resurface it. A concrete specialist uses a power grinder to smooth the old surface, then applies a bonding agent and a cement slurry. A spray of water mist helps the slurry set, and workers use trowels to create controlled joints and edges. If your concrete has a pebbly surface, workers wash away some of the top layer to expose the aggregate.
A concrete overlay (a thin coating of cement-based material applied directly to the old surface) is a more attractive and cost-effective option than patching or painting. It can be textured, stamped and colored to create an interesting design or even cover discoloration and minor cracks. This method can be more difficult to install than capping, and unresolved issues with the existing concrete, such as cracks and frost heaves, will likely carry over into the new material.
If you decide to replace your driveway, there are many different types of concrete to choose from. You’ll need to consider the lifespan of each, and what you think will look best on your property. A new concrete driveway will last much longer than asphalt, which has a shorter lifespan and is prone to cracking.
A final consideration is how often you’re likely to use your driveway and whether it will be a barrier between your home and the street. If you have a busy family and many cars, it will be necessary to repair or replace the concrete more frequently than a driveway that receives only occasional use. A new concrete driveway will also be more resistant to traffic and deicing salts than your current one, which can help extend its lifespan. It is also possible to choose a type of concrete that is more environmentally friendly than traditional asphalt. This is especially true of eco-friendly paving products made from recycled materials, which are becoming more and more popular.