Nothing lasts forever.
Not even concrete.
The lifespan of the average concrete driveway is 30 years. However, concrete driveway lifespan is dependent on factors outside of human control such as variations in temperature that cause shrinking and expansion of the concrete slab. Factors within human control include maintenance such as maintaining sealant, replacing expansion joints, power washing, removing stains and improper deicing with chemicals that can damage the concrete. Whether to repair or replace an old driveway is a decision that you should make with your contractor’s best advice and a budget in mind.
If You Replace
Get ready. It’s a big job. First, the old driveway is broken apart, loaded into the dumpster (hello, landfill fees) and carted off. The old underlayment is cleaned away, and the site is completely regraded. After that, the procedure is much the same as installing a brand-new driveway. You will have bought yourself another 30 years so long as the driveway is properly maintained.
If You Repair
Concrete driveway repair and renovation is possible and can last as long as 10 to 15 years. Refacing the slab is not as labor-intensive as replacing the entire driveway. Refacing can also completely change the look of your home, for the better. Filling the space between the slabs is vital to prevent damage to the slabs during expansion in summer and contraction in winter. There are several options to consider when using concrete driveway joint filler – wood, caulk-based, modern heavy-duty rubberlike joint fillers that are long-lasting and not subject to degradation or rot.
It’s Looking Good
Once you have repaired or replaced or concrete driveway, it’s important to regularly maintain it. Stains should be treated immediately, and concrete sealant reapplied every 2 to 3 years. Power washing will help to keep your driveway looking brand-new and using proper deicing materials will prevent damage to the surface of your driveway.
Do Your Homework
Replacing or resurfacing a concrete driveway is not a DIY job. Very often, municipalities have regulations governing driveways such as width, length, and materials that can be used. Additionally, homeowners’ associations may limit what members can do with their driveways and walkways. Consult with your homeowners’ association, or talk to a licensed contractor about these types of repairs. Expansion joint repair, however, IS a great DIY project that can greatly extend the life of your driveway.