Fix or Refinish? A Guide to Concrete Driveway Care

Concrete is a very durable and affordable material, which makes it an ideal option for driveways. Whether yours forms part of your personal residence or your business premises, you're likely to want to keep it looking neat and tidy, as well as protected from the elements. After all, minor cracks are inevitable but can reduce the driveway's lifetime if left unchecked.

But how should these cracks be dealt with? Is it okay to fill them in, or should the entire driveway be resurfaced? And how long can you expect your driveway to last? Read on to learn more about concrete repairs.

Small Cracks

Let's face it — driveways go through a lot of stress and pressure. They're under the burning sun all day, for one thing. Driving vehicles over them, as well as using them as frequent footpaths, is bound to lead them to a few thin, small cracks eventually. These are nothing to worry about, provided that they're not too deep and that they are not all gathered in the same area of the drive.

However, it's still worth considering whether you should have them repaired. Not only do they make your drive look a little less neat and tidy, but they may also be a trip hazard, especially for more vulnerable or unsteady family members. Equally, they will eventually deepen and spread, so addressing them early can prevent bigger issues in future.

Deep Cracks

These thicker cracks, which reach further down into the foundation of your drive, are a much more pressing problem. They allow debris to aggregate inside them, perhaps degrading the integrity of the driveway from inside the crack. They are also much likelier to be a trip hazard, even for people who are steady on their feet. Rather than let the cracks worsen or spread, have these filled immediately by an expert.

Old Driveways & Heavy Damage

Concrete driveways tend to be past their best after 20 to 25 years, even if well cared for. If your drive is this old or approaching it, it's likely to encounter more problems soon after your repairs. As such, you may consider simply having the whole thing resurfaced. Not only will this look better, but it will prevent multiple repair visits and the costs involved with those. Your existing foundation may still be suitable, so it could be quite a simple job; ask a concrete specialist for their opinion.

In short, whenever there's damage on your driveway, it's a good idea to address the problem immediately. However, it may not always be convenient or ideal to do this — so you should learn to tell the difference between light wear and tear and a more serious, spreading problem. That way you'll save a lot more damage in the long run.