Driveway Repair: Should You Patch, Refinish, or Replace?

Driveways aren’t just functional parts of any home. In many cases, they also play an important role in improving a property’s aesthetics and value. It’s the reason households invest in them. And, because they spend significant amounts of money on these structures, it’s not surprising why most of them shy away from completely replacing damaged sections. Minor patch-ups may be cost-effective, but they won’t always address other problems.

Deciding which approach to take when fixing an area in your driveway (or all of it) involves several considerations. Check out some of these guidelines so you can make a more informed choice.

When to Patch Up

Some of the reasons a driveway won’t hold its shape or form for long includes the weight of vehicles moving over it daily and the constant rain-shine and freeze-thaw cycles depending on where you live. This leads to damage that shows up as small cracks at first and eventually spreads throughout a bigger section. These beat-up areas can be fixed with liquid fillers if they’re less than a quarter-inch wide.

Fixing your own driveway costs less than a complete replacement. You don’t even have to hire a contractor because liquid crack fillers come with instructions that are easy to follow. Remember, though, that patching only temporarily addresses any structural issue. The most it can do is push back reconstruction for a few years. It will still need to be rebuilt sometime in the future.

When to Refinish

There’s a middle ground between small patch-ups and total replacement, and that’s refinishing. Nowadays, skilled contractors can simply remove the top layer of your driveway and replace only that section. This makes the area look like new at a much lower price. It gets rid of all those unsightly pits and cracks in the meantime. This approach does require that you have a solidly built and layered foundation, though. Otherwise, you might end up with more issues than you started with.

When to Replace

The first thing to consider is the age of your driveway. If it’s around 20 years old or more, redoing it is imperative. At this point, you can’t count on the quality of the build and the foundation. When ignored, this could lead to more issues and even compromise the safety of everyone in your home. Most materials fail and crumble after decades of exposure to natural elements and constant pressure from your vehicles. It’s better to be extra careful to guarantee every resident’s welfare.

For total replacements, contact a trusted contractor. When doing the job yourself, ask various shops about the products you can use. There are a lot of quality liquid blacktop driveway repair fillers you can get to fix small pits and cracks. What approach you use depends on your preference. The most important thing is to never fail to keep these home structures in good condition for everybody’s safety.

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