Points to Discuss With Your Contractor About Repairing Your Old Concrete Driveway

Posted on: 24 November 2020

If your concrete driveway is old and dangerous due to trip hazards, talk to a concrete contractor about your options. Replacing the driveway is one option, but repairs might be possible, even if part of the driveway is sunken or heaved. Here are some points to discuss with your contractor about repairing your concrete driveway.

How Sunken Areas Can Be Lifted

Part of your driveway can sink if the soil under it shifts or develops a void. If the rest of the base of the driveway is in good shape, the contractor might suggest removing the portion of your driveway that's sunken so the soil base can be rebuilt and new concrete installed.

Another repair option might be to lift the sunken concrete. This can be done with expanding foam. The contractor drills holes in the driveway so the foam can be forced into the soil below the concrete. As the foam expands, it lifts the concrete so your driveway is level again. The foam also fills in voids beneath the driveway and stabilizes the soil so the new concrete has a firm base to rest upon.

How Heaved Cracks Can Be Repaired

Cracks in concrete can be repaired by filling them with concrete patching material. However, uneven cracks can't be fixed by patching alone. Your contractor might be able to saw down the heaved side to make your driveway level, but it might also be necessary to replace the concrete in an area with a big crack and large heaved portion. Your contractor has to determine the reason for the heaving. If the problem is a big tree root, the root may need to be cut out and a root barrier put down to keep it from growing back.

How to Make the Concrete More Attractive

Once the contractor has made repairs to the concrete, you might want a coating put on that adds color and sheen to the concrete so it looks fresh and new. Your contractor might also suggest an overlay which is a new layer of cement that can be stamped with designs before the concrete hardens. By adding color and stamps, you can transform your old, ugly driveway so it looks like a new paver, brick, or flagstone. You can even get an overlay that makes your driveway look like it's topped with river rocks.

Being able to make repairs instead of replacing the driveway hinges on having a solid soil base beneath the concrete. As long as the base is good, your contractor can give your worn-down concrete driveway a new look at a lower cost and with less disruption than installing a new driveway.