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How to Properly Repair a Driveway

Driveways provide function and style to a home, but they can be unsightly when in disrepair. Isolated cracks or holes less than 1/4″ wide don’t pose a structural threat and can be easily repaired using patching products.


Larger cracks, spalling (cracking and chipping of surface concrete), or discoloration can be covered with a driveway resurfacing product or cement overlay. For professional help, contact Driveway Repair Charles Town WV.

When a driveway is damaged, it’s important to inspect the damage and determine its severity. If there are only minor cracks or surface damage, you may be able to repair the driveway on your own. However, if there are significant cracks, sunken sections of the driveway, or other underlying structural issues, it’s best to contact a professional.

A concrete leveling specialist can assess the damage and recommend the most appropriate repair solution for your driveway. In some cases, a full replacement may be necessary. However, in other cases, a professional can help you file an insurance claim and get your driveway repaired quickly.

The most common driveway repairs include filling in cracks, repairing potholes, and resurfacing the entire driveway. In addition, homeowners can prevent further damage by ensuring that the driveway is properly graded and slopped to channel water away from the driveway. Regular resealing of the driveway can also add an extra layer of protection from chemicals, weather, and other damage to extend its life.

During an inspection, it’s important to note the size of the cracks and how deep they are. Small cracks in a driveway can often be repaired using a concrete patching compound or a simple patching kit.

However, if the cracks are more than 1/4 inch wide or there is any “alligator” type cracking, these types of cracks need to be filled in with a specialized epoxy. While resurfacing the entire driveway is expensive and time-consuming, it is a more permanent solution for serious cracking problems. In addition, resurfacing the driveway can improve the appearance and value of the home. Contact a local contractor for more information about this service.

Clean the Area

Before you can address any damage, the first step in driveway repair is to clean the area. Use a garden hose or power washer to wash away dirt and debris from the surface. Scrub stubborn stains with a stiff brush or broom. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and take off any shoes or clothing that might get tar on them (you don’t want to accidentally track it into your house). If the stain is particularly severe, consider using muriatic acid mixed with water and scrubbed into the surface of the driveway. If you’re unsure whether this is a good idea, contact a professional for advice before trying it.

You should also look for swollen areas of the driveway where water has collected after a rainstorm or during a freeze-thaw cycle. These depressions are prone to cracking and may allow for water and ice to seep under the driveway surface, further damaging it.

For concrete driveways, you can try to prevent these areas by adding a layer of crushed rock or gravel in the spring. You can also add an annual application of a driveway sealant to keep the surface protected from damage by the sun’s heat and UV rays.

Asphalt is less susceptible to cracking, but you should still monitor it for areas that are starting to show signs of wear and tear. You can also use cold patch asphalt to fill small cracks before they turn into bigger problems. Sealing your driveway regularly will protect it from the elements and prolong its lifespan. A good time to apply the sealant is when the weather is warm, so that it can dry properly.

Patch or Fill the Cracks

Even a well-maintained driveway eventually develops cracks. But repairing them in their early stages will prevent further damage and defers the need to replace your entire asphalt or concrete driveway. Depending on the severity of your fissures, you might need to use a do-it-yourself solution like backer rod and an elastomeric concrete sealant to fill or patch them.

For hairline cracks up to 1/8 inch wide, a liquid concrete crack filler that you can find at Home Depot or Lowes may work just fine. It pores directly into the cracked area, self-levels, and cures to a light gray color that matches many driveway surfaces.

More serious divots may require a more extensive fix with concrete patching compound. It is important to remove any loose debris and dirt with a broom or leaf blower before applying the patching material. It is also helpful to widen the crack with a hand hammer or chisel before filling it, to allow the sealant to flow freely into the hole.

It is important to choose quality concrete patching material for your repair. Make sure that it is designed for exterior use, to withstand harsh weather conditions. Mix the patching material thoroughly in a bucket with water, and apply it to your damaged areas. Allow it to dry for a few hours before driving your vehicle over the surface.

A damaged, dirty, or unattractive driveway can lower your curb appeal and make your whole house look unkempt. Restoring your concrete or asphalt driveway can increase the value of your property and make it easier to sell in the future. Buyers are often willing to pay up to 7% more for a property that has been maintained in good condition.

Repair Sunken Sections

Sunken sections in a driveway usually signal drainage or soil issues. In these situations, it is important to address the problem before it worsens. If left untreated, water will pool in the depression and undermine the soil underneath. This can lead to further sinking and cracking of the concrete surface as well as a host of problems with your home’s foundation.

In some cases, a resurfacing process known as slabjacking or mudjacking can lift and level the damaged concrete. This involves digging a pit alongside and under the low section of the driveway. Hydraulic bottle jacks are then used to raise the sunken concrete up to the proper level. This method is typically only manageable for small concrete areas, such as a sidewalk section or a set of precast concrete stairs. Resurfacing the entire driveway is a much more challenging task and is best left to professional concrete repair services.

For older or very damaged concrete, full replacement is sometimes the only option. This is an expensive and time consuming project. However, it can restore the structural integrity of your driveway and give you peace of mind knowing that the concrete is in good condition. If you opt for this solution, it is a good idea to choose a concrete finish and texture that matches the surrounding concrete to ensure a consistent look.

Several steps can be taken to prevent a sinking driveway from becoming a larger problem. First, make sure your drainage is working properly by checking and cleaning your gutters and downspouts. Ensure that they are clear and directed away from the driveway area so that rainwater does not wash away soil and cause erosion under the slabs. Also, examine the grading around your driveway to ensure that it slopes away from the foundation of your house and any buried pipes or utility lines.

Smooth Out Rough Edges

With proper care, asphalt driveways can last for up to 20 years before they require a replacement. With regular maintenance, you can extend their lifespan by addressing problems such as potholes and ruts. To do so, you’ll want to first clean the damaged area and remove weeds. Then, you can use asphalt patching material or filler to fill and smooth out the area. If you have a gravel driveway, you may also want to consider installing a border to help stabilize the area and prevent sand migration.

For concrete driveways, you can repair cracks and holes by using a concrete repair compound or concrete patching kit. These kits are easy to use and come with everything you need to properly repair your driveway. Once the compound or patching material is applied, you can use a putty knife to smooth it out. If you’re dealing with larger cracks or holes, you may need to drill out the hole and then re-patch the area.

If the damage to your concrete driveway is extensive, resurfacing or a concrete overlay may be the best option. This is a great middle ground between patching and replacing your driveway. It will cover any cracking, discoloration or other flaws and you can even get creative with the decorative finish.

It’s important to address any surface failures as soon as they happen to keep your driveway safe and looking good. A professional can evaluate the damage and recommend the right solution. They can also offer specialized services such as concrete leveling, which uses polyurethane foam to raise sunken sections of your driveway. This is a faster and more effective method than digging up and replacing the damaged section of your driveway.