A well-maintained driveway improves your property’s curb appeal and can increase its value. Driveway Repair Charleston SC can address concrete issues such as cracks, discoloration, grease stains, and sunken areas.
Cracks less than a quarter-inch wide do not pose a structural threat and can be filled or patched with a sealer. However, this is only a band-aid that defers the need for a more extensive repair or replacement.
It’s a beautiful sunny day; the birds are chirping; you’re brewing your morning coffee; and then you walk down to your driveway to grab the newspaper. That’s when you notice that there are a few cracks forming in your driveway, and they need to be fixed right away. Cracks are one of the first signs of a problem with your concrete driveway. They can lead to potholes, which are dangerous for your car and can cause major damage over time. Cracks can also cause water to leak into the foundation of your home, causing further problems.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to fix your driveway cracks and prevent them from getting worse. The first step is to clean the cracks thoroughly. This can be done using a pressure washer with a nozzle that has strong degreasing agents or one that is specially designed to remove mildew and mold. After cleaning, wet down the surface to prevent the cleaner from drying too quickly.
Once the cracks are cleaned, they can be filled with a cold-process asphalt repair compound such as blacktop. This can be purchased at your local hardware store and mixed with water to form a thick paste that can be worked into the cracks. When filling the cracks, you should use a pointing trowel to push the compound into the crack and completely fill or “stuff” it. This will give the patch a flexible feel that allows it to expand and contract as the temperature changes without pulling away from the existing concrete.
Cracks can also develop due to faulty installation. If the base and foundation of your concrete aren’t packed tightly enough or if they use sand or soil substrates that shift and erode over time, this can lead to cracking on the surface. Excessive weight on the driveway can also cause cracks, especially if the load is uneven. The improper spacing of control joints can also lead to concrete cracking.
Finally, the earth underneath your driveway is always shifting, and this can cause your asphalt to crack as it settles. This is often the result of poor foundation installation.
Potholes are deep depressions in your driveway’s surface that can range in size from a few inches to several feet across. These damaged areas are caused by water damage underground combined with the pounding of heavy vehicles on the asphalt above. If left untreated, these holes will get bigger and can cause serious damage to your vehicle’s suspension. To avoid serious problems, you should fill in any potholes in your driveway as soon as they form.
To properly repair a pothole, you’ll need to start by removing any loose debris or large rocks that are in it. Then dig down a bit and create firm edges around the hole with a shovel. This will help the filler material compact well and prevent the pothole from forming again in the future. Next, fill the pothole with coarse gravel about three to four inches below the surface of your driveway. Then, tamp the gravel down with a steel tamper or 4×4 wooden post.
Whether you have a gravel or asphalt driveway, you can repair these damaging areas by following this simple procedure. If you’re unsure about your ability to do this, it is best to hire a professional, as it requires the use of tools and heavy equipment.
It’s important to note that swerving around a pothole will only make it worse. If you hit it at the wrong angle, your car will bounce all over the place and could end up damaging the suspension. In addition, this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, putting yourself in danger.
If your driveway has a lot of potholes, you can repair them quickly and effectively with cold-lay tarmac from a reputable company. To avoid this, you should apply the tarmac during dry weather and not in wet conditions. In wet weather, the tarmac will often puddle and become muddy, which can leave an unsightly appearance or even lead to structural damage in your driveway.
If you’re planning to use cold-lay tarmac to fill a pothole, be sure to choose Instant Road Repair Red for your job. This type of tarmac comes in a red color to match your existing tarmacadam, as opposed to the black that’s available with other cold-lay tarmac products. You’ll also need a can of cold joint spray and bonding tape to seal the repaired area and prevent water ingress.
If a sunken area in your driveway becomes a safety hazard, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. If left unattended, it can result in a loss of control and traction for drivers. It can also damage the undercarriage of vehicles, including their engines and exhaust systems. It is also an invitation to moisture, which can lead to rotting and other structural problems for your driveway.
A sunken driveway can be caused by poor drainage, erosion, or shifting soil. It can also be the result of a construction error or a problem with the foundations or groundwork. If you’re a new homeowner, check with the builder, as it may be covered under your warranty.
If you want to tackle a sunken repair yourself, a concrete patching kit is one option for small areas of your driveway. Before attempting this, be sure to remove any loose debris that is causing the low spot. Then, sweep the area and vacuum away any dirt or gravel that may be causing it to sink further. This will help ensure that the patch you are using sticks well to your surface.
A more extensive repair for a sunken driveway involves relaying the paving or asphalt, whichever was originally used on your home’s driveway. This is typically the most expensive solution for any kind of driveway repair, but it can be necessary if there is a serious issue with your base level that causes sections to shift or sink over time.
For this method, a contractor will assess the condition of your existing driveway and the underlying cause of its sunken spots. Once they know what the best course of action is, they will drill holes into the sunken section and then inject high-density polyurethane foam. This process is called “polyurethane foam concrete lifting” or “foam jacking.”
This will fill the voids under the sinking part of your driveway, allowing it to return to its original position. Before doing this, it is a good idea to check and clean the downspouts on your property to make sure that they are draining correctly and keeping water away from your foundation and your driveway.
Damage to the Foundation
If your driveway cracks and sinking areas are not treated promptly, they can spread to the foundation and compromise its stability. This can cause a variety of problems, including bowing walls, leaning chimneys, and basement flooding.
While cracks and other signs of a failing foundation are obvious indicators, some damage is not as obvious or easy to recognize. For example, doors that stick are often thought to be a sign of a foundation problem but are actually a result of the door hinges. When combined with other warning signs, though, a sticking door is a clear indicator that the foundation is in trouble.
Another less obvious sign of a failing foundation is the presence of water around your property perimeter. This may also be accompanied by standing water on the surface of your driveway and sidewalk. This can be a serious issue because it is indicative of a lack of proper drainage solutions around the home. Perimeter saturation is directly related to numerous problems throughout the home, including unlevel steps, uneven driveways, and foundation damage.
If you see your concrete driveway starting to heave or crack, it is a good idea to hire a professional to come out and take a look at the damage. These specialists can help you find a solution that will address the root cause of the damage rather than just patching the symptoms.
For small cracks on a concrete driveway, you can use a crack filler designed for this purpose. These products are available in no-mess cartridges for a caulking gun and pourable bottles that can be filled into the crack. Once the crack filler is cured, you can remove the excess with a putty knife.
For jagged cracks more than an inch wide, you may need to purchase a concrete repair kit that includes a float, wood pieces, a concrete finishing brush, and a rub brick. In addition to the concrete repair product, these kits include bonding primer and concrete fortifier as well. These products should be used only on exterior concrete and must be cleaned thoroughly to ensure a successful application.