Odds are, you probably don’t think too much about your driveway day-to-day, unless there’s a cleary noticeable problem. If you look down and see serious wear-and-tear, water puddles, cracks, or even potholes, you’re most likely wondering when they got there and how to fix them.

Your driveway, whether it’s made from asphalt, concrete, or paver, can become damaged from multiple different offenders. Motor oil, gasoline, and the sheer weight of a vehicle will gradually wear down the pavement. Driveways located within the Midwest and other cold regions of the United States really have their odds stacked against them with the amount of de-icing products, freezing temperatures, and freeze-thaw weather cycles during winter that pollute their pavement every year.

The longevity of your driveway depends on how you maintain it and the climate of where you are, but it mostly depends on the material that it was constructed with. Asphalt driveways can be expected to last between 15-20 years, and that will be extended exponentially if with proper monitoring and upkeep. Concrete driveways can be expected to last about 25 years. If you practice regular proper and preventative maintenance, you most likely won’t experience any detrimental issues for decades to come.

Signs That Your Driveway Needs to be Replaced:

1. Your driveway has water runoff down the middle and/or areas of water pooling up.
Asphalt driveway with puddles forming, showing issues with the drainage system in place.

This is a telltale sign of an uneven or sloped driveway with drainage issues. Drainage issues on a driveway is a serious problem and are detrimental to the condition of the pavement. This is seen on driveways that weren’t installed by a professional who takes slope, pitch, and drainage structure methods into consideration. Repairs such as adding curbs, culverts, or inlets are a viable option to better direct the water away from your driveway. But, you may just need to replace the whole driveway to repair the damage that has already occurred, before adding these preventative drainage features.

2. Cracks are forming on your driveway, usually varying in size.
Cracked driveway in need of major asphalt or concrete pavement repairs.

Cracking develops as pavement surfaces age, and is super common in both asphalt and concrete driveways, with time. Oil, gas, de-icing products, other debris, and freeze-thaw weather cycles only make the cracks grow and expand into much bigger problems. Small cracks can potentially be repaired completely, but the long, deep, and wide cracks are reasons to be alarmed.

In most cases, it’s better to just replace the driveway surface because minor repairs are temporary and will only buy you a short amount of time before major action ($$$) needs to be taken. Just as well, small cracks that are spot-treated will appear much darker than the rest of the pavement and will ultimately impact your home’s curb appeal.

Cracked driveway in need of major asphalt or concrete pavement repairs.
3. Your driveway has a pothole.
Asphalt pavement with a hazardous pothole.

Above all, cracks in the pavement are mainly just eyesores; but potholes are actually hazardous and are known to cause car problems. Driving over the same hole every day will do some serious damage to your car’s suspension system and tires. Potholes are created after years of expanding and contracting going on underneath the driveway. As time goes on, the pavement starts to weaken and the driveway’s materials start to crumble and crack, which then graduates into an unsightly hole on the surface.

Potholes can be fixed quickly and easily with either cold patch, hot patch, or infrared methods that we offer at Pavement Solutions, LLC. If holes are addressed early enough, the correct repairs will extend the life of the pavement by a long shot. However, sometimes patching the hole is just a band-aid solution to the actual issues occurring underground. If that is the case, then the pothole will just show up again in due time. Replacing the driveway is the only way to correct the issues within the sub-base of the driveway structure and fix the contracting/expanding going on within the underlying layers. This especially rings true for older driveways.

4. Your driveway has faded from the striking color that it once was into a dull-looking surface and has an overall rough appearance.
Old and weather asphalt driveway in need of a replacement.

Over time, UV rays from the sun will cause the color of your driveway to fade. The UV rays penetrate the driveway, oxidize the pavement surface, and cause the color to fade away.

A faded driveway might just be an issue of aesthetics that can be fixed by applying fresh sealcoat or a sealant. But a noticeably rough and weathered surface is reason enough to consider replacing it. Excessive UV damage can be detrimental to the strength and durability of the driveway. If the structural integrity has been compromised, it may be best to replace the driveway.

Old and weather asphalt driveway in need of a replacement.

If you can relate with any of the four red flags listed above and you’ve come to terms with needing to replace your driveway in the near future; there are lots of things to consider before moving forward.

. . .

But don’t sweat it, Pavement Solutions, LLC will take care of everything. Our pavement professionals have over 30 years of experience in residential pavement repairs and replacements. After a free consultation, we can offer you a number of different solutions, based on your budget and the condition of your driveway. Request a free estimate today or call us for more information today!

Posted by C. Butler on 4/28/20