Driveway Repair – Why It’s Important to Repair Your Driveway Before It Gets Out of Hand

Driveways have experienced a lot of wear and tear over the years. This damage comes from heavy vehicles, snow, ice, and sun exposure. Cracks and potholes are common signs that your driveway is in need of repair. They often start as hairline fissures but, if not addressed quickly, can worsen into bigger problems.

Concrete ContractorsYour driveway should be free of cracks, which can lead to potholes and busted tires. While some cracking is normal, fixing these minor issues before they get out of hand is important. To learn more, visit Driveway Repair Charles Town WV.

There are several different ways to repair concrete cracks, including injection and patching. These methods work well for small to moderate cracks, but they do not address underlying problems that could cause more extensive damage down the line.

For larger cracks, a more involved repair process is often necessary. One option is mudjacking, which involves drilling soda can-sized holes and injecting a heavy concrete slurry to fill the voids beneath the slab. However, this procedure is messy, expensive and takes a week or longer to cure fully. Additionally, it does not fix the root of the problem and may need to be repeated every few years.

Ground movement is another major contributor to a cracked driveway. Annual freeze and thaw cycles can shift the soil underneath your asphalt, putting pressure on the surface and creating cracks. To combat this, it’s important to use a quality base material when installing your driveway.

You’ll want to clean the cracks of weeds and dirt and apply the sealant when temperatures are above 32 degrees F so that the product will set properly. Small cracks can usually be repaired with rubberized asphalt-emulsion crack filler, which is available at most hardware stores. It’s also a good idea to cover any large driveway sections with plastic sheeting until the sealant dries completely. This will prevent children and pets from playing on the wet material and may even help it to cure more quickly.

A pothole is an area of the driveway that literally looks like a hole. It often happens when alligator cracks go unmaintained. When water seeps through these cracks, it can cause the gravel to destabilize and shift underneath the asphalt layer. This reveals the underlying dirt and gravel fill, which causes the “pothole” appearance. These types of potholes can be filled with a pothole patch, although it is a good idea to regrade and repack the entire area for a long-lasting repair.

If you have a gravel driveway, the best way to fix a pothole is to fill it with coarse gravel. This will allow the water to drain away from the driveway without being concentrated in one area. This will help prevent the pothole from reappearing after the rain.

When repairing potholes in an asphalt driveway, the most important step is to clean out any deteriorated asphalt. This can be done with a scraper or chisel. Then, use a rake or shovel to dig out any loose material still in the pothole. Wetting the surface before you start your work is also a good idea. This will help the surface to bond with the patch material and last longer.

When repairing asphalt, using a high quality pothole patch is essential. This will ensure that the patch will last as long as possible and be as durable as the rest of the asphalt. Also, remember to regrade and repack the area when you finish your repairs. This will help to keep the repaired potholes stable and prevent them from sinking in on themselves or getting larger over time.

When cracks and potholes appear in your driveway, they indicate that the foundation underneath is weakening. The longer the problem goes unrepaired, the more damage it causes to the internal structure of your driveway.

As such, addressing these issues as soon as you notice them is important. A few simple repairs can prevent further damage and keep your vehicle safe from the danger of sinkholes.

While cracks and potholes are relatively minor issues, a sinkhole can be much more serious. It’s a hole in the ground that appears suddenly and swallows up vehicles, people and houses. This type of natural disaster can occur in various ways, including geological activity, construction work near your property, underground water movement and animal burrows.

Unlike asphalt cracks and potholes, which can be patched by injecting concrete into the damaged area, sinkholes are formed by soil collapse beneath your driveway. This happens when the decaying matter in the soil substrate reaches a point where it no longer supports the asphalt surface.

In many cases, these holes result from poor initial installation by a building contractor who rushes the job or attempts to cut corners when installing your new driveway. While it is rare for this type of issue to occur in brand-new driveways, if it does, it may result from an unsuitable gravel base or low-quality materials. To avoid these issues, inspect your driveway by a professional and get periodic pavement crack sealing to prevent soil erosion. These sealers create a barrier to keep water from damaging the surface of your driveway or penetrating beneath it.

Weeds that sprout from cracks in concrete, brick, or asphalt paving are a perennial frustration. These unwanted plants thrive in pavement crevices where it seems nothing else could survive—even though you would think that these tiny, hot and dry spaces would be hostile to any plant seeds. The good news is that a few preventative steps can stop weeds from growing before they get out of hand.

The time-honored strategy of gently pulling the weeds to remove them works, but you must carefully extract the entire weed, roots and all, to prevent it from resprouting. This is easiest after rain or a watering from a garden hose has softened the fill dirt that holds the weeds’ roots. Using an herbicide that is targeted to the specific weed will also kill it and prevent it from coming back, but this solution may be time-consuming if you are doing it for all the weeds that are popping up in your driveway.

Alternatively, a propane torch can be used to burn off any weeds sprouting from your driveway’s cracks. This is an especially effective approach when you need to do this frequently, because it eliminates the time-consuming process of digging or spraying a chemical weed killer.

If you’re worried about weeds creeping up through pavers, ask your contractor to lay landscape fabric before installing your hardscapes. This product is designed to prevent weeds from rooting through gaps and seams in your patio, sidewalk or driveway, and it will also keep soil from seeping into the paved surface. This material is available from many home improvement stores, but it is important to ensure that it will not interfere with the strength or durability of your pavers.

Roots are essential to a tree’s survival as they provide it with water, oxygen and nutrients. Unfortunately, the wide spread of a tree’s roots can cause problems for sewer pipes, building foundations and nearby paved areas including driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. As the roots move closer to these structures, they can exert pressure on them causing cracks and lift.

The problem can be easily resolved by removing the roots that are damaging the pavement. However, a more permanent solution is required if the roots are too extensive to be removed. One option is to install a root barrier that encourages the tree to grow deeper into the soil, away from the paved surfaces. This can be a physical barrier such as a length of sheet metal or a chemical one, such as copper sulphate.

Another alternative is to reroute the concrete or paved area away from the affected root system. This can be as simple as changing a walkway or driveway to a meandering one (you’ve probably seen this in state parks) that provides the roots with more space and allows for their natural growth.

Whether you choose to remove the offending roots, repair existing damage or reroute the surface altogether, we recommend contacting a professional arborist who can help you make the best decision for your property and the health of your trees. A trained eye can spot trouble before it becomes a major issue and save you the cost of repairs. A professional can also help you prevent future problems by assessing the situation, providing advice and suggesting appropriate measures. They should be able to give you a quote for the work before it starts so there are no surprises.