Many homeowners pave their driveways with concrete for its durability and beauty, but that doesn't mean concrete is immune to wear and tear. Regular usage can result in numerous issues that will require repair and maintenance. More serious problems can occur due to improper usage, such as overloading the driveway with heavy vehicles.
Fortunately, concrete problems typically aren't fatal, and you can often repair these issues without removing your existing concrete and installing a new driveway. However, ignoring problems can often make them worse, potentially ruining the structural foundations of your driveway. If you have any of these three issues, you'll want to hire an experienced paving contractor as soon as possible.
1. Sinking Slabs
Sinking slabs are arguably one of the worst problems you can face as a concrete driveway owner. Slabs often sink due to underlying issues with the soil foundation, but sinking doesn't necessarily mean that your driveway is no longer structurally sound. In many cases, the problem may only exist in a few areas, and the rest of the driveway might still be secure.
Fortunately, several techniques exist for addressing a sinking slab without repaving your driveway. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may be possible to jack the driveway and install a fill product beneath the sinking slab to relevel them. This process requires specialized pumping equipment, so it's not a jump for a typical do-it-yourselfer.
2. Large Cracks
As with asphalt, large cracks in concrete aren't just an unsightly cosmetic blemish. While concrete is porous, much of the rainwater that falls on your concrete driveway will drain away. Cracks allow this rainwater to make its way below the concrete slabs in much higher quantities, ultimately threatening the soil foundation below it.
Leveling a sinking slab is generally a much more expensive and intense process than repairing cracks, so it's critical to deal with these issues when you notice them. While small cracks are often repairable by homeowners, it's best to leave larger cracks to the professionals. Since these issues can cause long-term problems for your driveway, it's best to ensure a correct and complete repair.
Spalling is similar to the "raveling" phenomenon on asphalt driveways. As with raveling, spalling indicates that your concrete is breaking down. You'll often notice small areas that seem to be turning to dust or flakes and simply wearing away. Spalling is ugly and can threaten your concrete driveway's stability and usability.
Spalling is a severe issue, but it's not terminal. However, a spalling driveway will usually worsen over time, so it's crucial to address the problem as soon as possible. In most cases, you'll want a professional paving contractor to handle this issue since it requires resurfacing the affected areas with fresh concrete.
For more information, reach out to a driveway paving repair service near you.