If your driveway has seen better days, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace the driveway completely or if you can just get away with patching it or refinishing it. Most people will try to do whatever they can to avoid replacing the entire driveway, since it can pretty expensive to do so. But sometimes it’s necessary and money you spend repairing the damage will only result in a temporary fix that only delays the inevitable.
So how do you know if a simple patch is all that’s needed to fix your driveway or if you need to do more? One good rule of thumb for concrete or asphalt driveways is that if a crack is smaller than a quarter inch wide, you should have no problem filling the crack with a patching material to reinforce it. Then if you want, you can refinish or reseal the entire surface to make it look more uniform and less worn.
However, if a crack is wider than a quarter inch, even if you patch it, you may run into trouble. Cracks this wide will likely allow water to seep in even if you properly fill it with driveway patching material. Since driveways in New Jersey and New York have to contend with constant freeze-thaw cycles, any water that seeps in freezes and then thaws, leading to further damage. So even though the patch you do today may buy you some time, you’re still going to have to replace your driveway in the foreseeable future. The money you spend today to repair it may be worth it to you since it’ll buy you some time, but keep in mind that since the fix is only temporary, you’ll just be adding to your total bill over time.
If your driveway is old, it may just be worth replacing it rather than trying to see if repairing it lasts. Asphalt driveways typically have a lifespan of about 20 years, while concrete and paver driveways tend to last about 25 years or so. After years of braving the elements, these materials just start to fail over time. Even if you spend the time and money to repair them, new issues will likely arise shortly after you address any current issues. Again, you’ll buy yourself some time but you’ll eventually have to replace the driveway and any money you spend in the interim to repair it will be wasted.
Homeowners that aren’t sure whether a driveway is worth repairing or if it should be replaced should talk to a professional they can trust. An experienced installer will provide advice on the cost-benefit of repairs vs. replacement so you can make a more informed decision.
For more information about repairing and replacing asphalt and concrete driveways, contact Millenium Stoneworks at 732-519-1112.