If your concrete driveway is uneven in places, cracked, and stained, you may think it's time to tear it out and put in a new driveway. Before you do that, you should look into having it repaired. Repairs are less expensive and your driveway will be out of service for a much shorter period of time. Here's what the process entails.
Repairing Cracks In Concrete
It's fairly easy to repair cracks in concrete as long as the sides of the cracks are level with each other. You can probably do this job yourself. Buy concrete filler or patch material at a hardware store for the job. Start with a clean surface that's free from dirt and weeds, then fill in the crack. Use an applicator with a tip for tiny cracks and push the patch material into the cracks with a putty knife if they are larger. Be sure to scrape the top of the cracks with the knife so it is level or you'll have a bump when the filler dries.
Fixing Uneven Cracks, Sunken Areas, And Heaves
Fixing uneven areas of the concrete is more difficult and will probably require the services of a contractor. The two solutions for uneven concrete are to raise the lower area or shave off the higher area. Raising the sunken area is indicated if an entire section or slab has sunk lower than the rest of the driveway due to problems with the soil underneath. This is a fairly easy fix for a concrete contractor. It involves drilling holes in the slab and injecting them with a concrete slurry mixture that flows under the slab and slowly elevates it back into place.
If the driveway is uneven because a portion has heaved higher than the rest of the driveway due to tree roots pushing it up, another solution is needed. Your contractor may be able to repair this problem by shaving off the portion of the crack so it is level with the other side. Once the sides are level, the crack can be filled in and repaired as usual.
Eliminating Stains On Concrete
Your old driveway can be brought back to life by having it resurfaced. Resurfacing is applying a coating or new top layer to the concrete so all the stains and imperfections are covered over. It's like getting a brand new driveway expect it costs a lot less. Repairs to big cracks and uneven areas have to be done first so they don't show through the new top layer. Then the mixture is applied to the surface and allowed to bond to the old concrete as it dries. When finished, your driveway will look bright, fresh, and free from stains. You can even use this opportunity to add color to your driveway or have it stamped if you want an entirely different look.
Your contractor can help you decide if repairs are worth the expense or if you need an entirely new driveway. The age of the concrete and the condition of the soil base underneath it are taken into consideration. As long as your driveway is still in fairly good shape, then repairs will extend its life while improving its appearance. To learn more, contact a company like Crackerjack Mud Jacking Inc.