Your concrete driveway is strong and sturdy; however, it isn't made to last forever. Eventually, it is going to need to be replaced. Luckily, when it needs to be replaced, it will give you some warning signs so you can save money, get quotes, and make an informed replacement decision.
One of the easiest ways to know if your concrete driveway has reached the end of its life is age. Concrete driveways, when they are taken care of properly, can last around 30 years. If your driveway is reaching approximately 30 years of age or more, it is time to start planning to have a new one installed. Keep in mind that things such as climate and traffic levels can impact exactly how long your driveway will last.
#2: Standing Water
Oftentimes, standing water develops on concrete driveways over time. Standing water develops as the base of the driveway sinks into the ground, creating what is known as sunken pavement. With standing water, you may be able to get a little more usage out of it by a process known as concrete lifting, where polyurethane foam is injected through holes drilled into the concrete to lift the concrete back up and prevent more standing water from occurring.
If that isn't an option, it is time to consider replacing the driveway. If the foundation under your driveway is failing, you will need to remove and replace the full structure. Failing to do so will result in more cracks and potholes and an unsafe environment.
#3: Big Potholes
Big potholes are not only unsightly, but they can also be damaging to your vehicle. Driving over big potholes daily to get in and out of your driveway can result in damage to your suspension and your tires. You can literally run up the repair costs on your vehicle.
When a pothole is small, you can fill it in. However, if you leave the pothole alone and allow it to develop into a crater, you will need to replace your driveway.
#4: Deep Cracks
It is normal for small cracks to develop on the surface of the concrete. Those can be filled in. Where you need to start worrying is when you get deep cracks. A deep crack is one that is a couple of inches wide and possibly a couple of inches deep. A deep crack will continue to eat away into the ground and get wider over time. If you don't take care of cracks when they are small, you will have to replace your concrete driveway.
Speak with a concrete contractor for more information.