Your driveway does more than serve as a place to park your car. When it is in good condition—with a smooth surface instead of breaks, cracks, and potholes—it provides a safe surface for walking and driving. And a nice driveway really boosts your curb appeal too, making your home look attractive and well cared for.
But eventually, every driveway begins to wear down. So, how can you tell if your driveway needs replacement instead of repairs? Look for these signs.
5 Features of Driveways that Need Replacing
1. Large or Many Cracks
One of the first signals that your driveway is wearing down is the appearance of cracking on its surface. Both concrete and asphalt will crack over time. Other factors besides age that cause or worsen cracks can include hot summers and cold winters, freeze and thaw cycles, and damage from chemicals, such as de-icer.
If the cracks in your driveway are less than one-quarter inch wide and are few and far between, you may be able to patch them. But once you have wider cracks, multiple cracks, or a web of connected cracks—it’s time to replace the concrete or asphalt. At that point, patching won’t be effective.
2. Annoying Potholes
Hot and cold temperatures, as well as wet weather, can lead to frustrating potholes in your driveway. Even small potholes can cause damage to your vehicle’s wheels and suspension system, and they can become a tripping hazard that causes someone to twist an ankle.
Worse, potholes tend to get bigger because as time passes, moisture gets into the concrete or asphalt and makes the problem worse. Patching tends to be a temporary—and generally unsightly—fix, so getting a new driveway surface is often the better, more lasting choice.
3. Poor Drainage
As mentioned above, moisture plays havoc on asphalt and concrete surfaces. The problem is worsened when your property doesn’t properly drain when it rains. This issue can be the result of failing gutters, a lack of French drains, or an inadequately sloped surface. Puddles and pools result, and the standing water seeps into your driveway to create cracks and potholes.
If you’re noticing standing water on your driveway, it’s a good idea to make sure your property is sloped smoothly away from your home’s foundation. Laying a smooth, sloped new driveway surface may be just what you need to solve the issue.
4. Old Age
No matter how carefully your concrete (or asphalt) surface was installed, time will eventually take its toll. Wear and tear from weather and usage will eventually mean your driveway needs to be replaced.
A driveway made of concrete typically lasts 30-50 years, while asphalt can last 20-30 years. This lifespan may be shortened with harder than normal wear and tear, as well as mistakes during installation. If your driveway is 20 years or older and showing its age, get it evaluated by a pro team to see if replacement is a good idea.
As concrete ages, its bright color (a distinctive, clean white-gray) will darken to a heavier gray. If you choose to add tint to the concrete when it is first poured, the color will fade over time.
In itself, this doesn’t mean you must replace the driveway. But if you have other concerns such as a broken or aging slab, or if you want to invigorate the appearance of your front entrance, a newly laid driveway with fresh, stamped, or tinted concrete can create an eye-catching look you’ll admire.
Transform Your Driveway with Fresh Concrete from Our Pro Team
Nothing lasts forever—not even concrete or asphalt—so don’t be too surprised if yours needs some attention. If your property’s driveway is showing any of the above signs of wear, it may be time to replace it with a fresh, professionally laid surface. Concrete is an attractive, lasting option that works well in the Tulsa area’s demanding weather conditions.
At R&M Concrete, we’ve been beautifying residential and commercial driveways in Green Country, OK, for over 30 years—and we’re here to serve you. Discover how a new concrete driveway can benefit your home.