Concrete Driveway Repair vs. Replace

A construction crew replacing a concrete driveway instead of repairing it.

 

Your driveway is quite literally the doorway to your home – in fact, some might even say it’s the curb in curb appeal. As such, it needs to be both functional and aesthetically appealing. So then, what do you do when it breaks down? Should you simply patch it up or replace the whole thing?

Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of mending or reconstructing your driveway and compare them to replacing.

Repairing Your Driveway

As you may expect, repairing is the more cost-effective solution when fixing a cracked or broken down driveway. It is usually done in 2 main ways:

  • Concrete resurfacing – Here, some concrete resurfacing material (a cement-based overlay) is poured directly on top of your original concrete. It then adheres to create a whole new surface. The surface dries up, getting stronger with time.
  • Patching – This entails patching up gaps and cracks in your driveway rather than installing a fresh seal or overlay. While it is the least expensive course of action, patching results in a less appealing outcome.

So, if the damage is modest and the structural integrity of the concrete is still intact, repairing your driveway (resurfacing, in particular) might prove an effective solution while saving a few coins.

When to repair

As we’ve seen, when the problem is modest and the slab’s integrity is not compromised, then repair can be a good option. It can also prove effective if you are dealing with:

  • Blistering
  • little cracks
  • tiny holes
  • Stains
  • Discolorations
  • Cracked steps
  • Replacing a driveway

If your driveway is really old or has significant damage, such as deep cracks, pits, or potholes, repairing it might not cut it. In this case, you might have to replace the whole driveway. While it will surely result in a newer, more appealing outcome, this approach is notably more expensive than patching or resurfacing.

So, when should you replace your driveway?

You want to replace your driveway when problems with the concrete or flooring are difficult to fix, endanger the concrete’s integrity, or are large in size and scope.

A few signs that’ll tell you that you need to replace your driveway include:

  • many major cracks
  • enormous numbers of potholes
  • Extremely irregular surface
  • Evidence that the concrete slab wasn’t properly installed
  • signs that the concrete isn’t efficiently sustaining its weight load

Pros

Replacing the entire driveway is a more long-term fix. While expensive in the start, you’ll save costs on regular maintenance and checkups. Also, by replacing your driveway, you eliminate the risk of future cracks and potholes by addressing their root cause.

Cons

Replacing an entire driveway is significantly more costly than repairing one. An asphalt driveway replacement, for instance, can cost up to $15 per square foot, totaling an average of $4,500. This means, labor and materials included, a new concrete driveway will cost between $2,000 and $7,000.

Final Thought

As we’ve seen, there are numerous different kinds of damage that you could be facing. You can decide whether to replace or repair them based on their intensity.

However, some underlying issues might be hard to spot, which is why you are always encouraged to consult with a reputable concrete contractor and go over your alternatives. They will do a thorough inspection of your property and advise accordingly.

Our skilled team of expert contractors at Painter Bros is always on call to assist. If you feel like it’s time you gave your driveway a fixer-upper, don’t hesitate to contact us today and get a free estimate.