If your concrete driveway is in bad shape with cracks and discoloration, you may be wondering if it has to be replaced or if it can be repaired. You may need advice from a concrete driveway contractor, since problems with the base could mean the driveway has to be replaced. However, as long as the base is stable, repairs are often possible. Here's an overview of how a concrete driveway is repaired.
The Driveway Is Leveled
If your driveway has sunken or heaved areas, these have to be leveled first. This might be done by cutting heaved concrete to make it level with the adjacent slab, or the sunken slab might be raised by injecting cement slurry underneath it.
The Driveway Is Pressure Washed
If your driveway doesn't have very many cracks, but it's stained and dirty, pressure washing alone can transform its appearance and make the concrete look new. The goal of pressure washing as part of the restoration process is to remove dirt and stains so the repair patches and overlay adhere well to the old concrete.
The Cracks Are Repaired
Cracks and holes can be filled in or reinforced with fabric so the cracks won't affect the overlay that's poured on top. Filling cracks doesn't complete the repairs because the repairs are highly visible and they don't improve the appearance of your driveway. They just keep water from getting in the cracks and keep the cracks from spreading.
The Overlay Is Applied
An overlay is also called resurfacing the concrete because a new top layer of cement mixture is spread over the old driveway. This gives the driveway a new surface once the overlay has cured, and your driveway will look like new concrete.
You could take advantage of getting an overlay by having it stamped or dyed to have an entirely new look. You could turn a plain driveway into one that looks like it's made from red brick or gray slate.
A Sealer Is Put On
A concrete driveway repaired with an overlay can last for many years. It will last longer and look better if the overlay is sealed and has new sealer applied when the old one wears off. A sealer protects the concrete from stains and rain. Plus, it makes the driveway much easier to clean.
Your concrete driveway contractors will let you know when it's safe to park on your driveway after having an overlay applied since it depends on weather conditions. They may also explain how to maintain your driveway and overlay for the longest life. If you have a sealer applied, the contractor will let you know the right type to buy and how often you should apply it to keep your driveway looking its best.