We know driveway resurfacing is not the most exciting household job you’ll ever pay for. And many people like to sort out individual problems at a time, as simple problems can be relatively cheap to fix – as low as $300.
When a driveway is reaching the end of its life, this strategy feels like whack-a-mole. You fix one problem and another pops up in its place.
At this point, driveway resurfacing makes financial and aesthetic sense. But at what point is your driveway due for a full overhaul? Here are the signs to look out for.
1. Water Pooling
If you see water pooling on your driveway, it may have drainage issues. This can happen if the driveway is uneven, as all the water is running to the lowest spot and staying there.
Over time, this will weaken your drive, but the effects won’t always be visible until it causes cracks and potholes. In the winter, if the water freezes, it will push these cracks apart further.
If you live in a rainy area, adding a drainage channel when having your driveway resurfaced can help to avoid this issue in the future.
If you do notice water pooling after a storm, you can help to minimise the damage to your driveway. Push the water out of cracks and dips with a brush or a mop.
Cracks are often the first sign that a driveway resurfacing job might be necessary in the near future.
While they’re not going to damage your car right away, they don’t look great. And they’ll only get worse over time.
You can try to fill in or cover up cracks. But the more you do this, the more your driveway starts to look like patchwork.
You should also know that sometimes, fixing cracks only covers up the problem, and doesn’t actually fix an underlying issue. For example, if an asphalt drive has already been damaged all the way through, it may be that a pothole is inevitable, even if you fix the crack on top.
A step beyond cracks, you get potholes. These are caused by cracks getting worse and worse over time, as well as the ground beneath the paving shifting.
Water (and other fluids) seeps into the cracks and weakens the ground underneath the paving. The ground is also compacted as you drive your car over it.
The paving or tarmac starts to break up and sink downwards, forming a pothole.
Large potholes can damage your car’s suspension, and increase the wear and tear on your tires.
You might decide to fill a small pothole in, but this will never totally fix the issue. You need to look into a full driveway resurfacing job to make sure the problem is tackled at its source.
4. Your Driveway Looks Rough and Weathered
Wind, rain, sunshine, and snow all wear down your driveway over time.
This is inevitable, but the good news is that it’s largely cosmetic. For example, you might notice colored slabs are losing their hue, or paving slabs have slight chips and cracks.
However, if a driveway has been in place for a very long time, the weathering can mean it’s less stable than it used to be too. A driveway will only last for a certain amount of time.
You should expect it to remain stable for around 20 years if it’s asphalt. Or 25 if it’s paved or concreted. You still need to remember your maintenance tasks to make it last this long though.
So if your current driveway has been in place for a long time, you’ll need driveway resurfacing after a while. It might be better to get it resurfaced right away.
If you’re unsure, you can always call up experts like Pavement Planet to get their opinion of whether resurfacing is needed or not.
5. Tire Marks
Particularly noticeable on gray concrete, black tire marks end up being very unattractive after a while. These tend to appear faster if you live in a hot state.
You can’t avoid this unless you decide to never drive on your driveway!
By the way – if you do have a concrete or asphalt driveway, do you remember to reseal it every few years? This process helps to stop it cracking so quickly, and from getting chipped off at the edges.
By protecting the material, you’re helping your driveway to last longer. If you don’t keep it protected, you’re pretty much asking for cracks – which will lead to more frequent driveway resurfacing jobs.
Save yourself money by adding a reminder to your calendar to get this done.
6. It’s Too Old – Driveway Resurfacing Time!
Everything reaches the end of its useful life at some point or another.
If it’s for cosmetic reasons, or you just want a change, a new driveway can really add to the appeal of your home.
Perhaps you’re selling up and want buyers to be attracted to the house. Or maybe you’re sick and tired of being outdone by the neighbors.
Eventually, your driveway will develop one or more of the problems listed above. Replacing it now and again can save your car’s suspension and keep your home looking great.
My Driveway Looks Great – Now What?
If you’ve now sorted out your old, worn driveway, and done away with the cracks – what’s next?
How about bringing an old garage up to date? Consider some of these cool automation devices for your garage door.
Or if you’ve put in a new driveway because you’re looking to sell your home, heed our 5 solutions for a fast sale. No potential buyer will be keen on moving into a new home and having to replace the driveway themselves right away.
Whatever your objective, we hope this guide has helped you identify common driveway problems. Browse our archive for more great advice.