The most effective safeguard against the need for driveway repair is proper installation and maintenance, but what many homeowners do not know is that the weather in their hometown could be damaging their driveways without their knowledge. Until major cracks surface, long-term damage from rain and snow can be hidden; while the proper angle for water drainage is a slope of approximately one-quarter inch per foot, many homes have improperly installed driveways that are absorbing water into concrete or cracking asphalt installations.
Under the proper conditions of installation and maintenance, a concrete driveway should last for more than two decades. Asphalt driveways, on the other hand, can be resurfaced by driveway contractors, a project which could yield a lower cost per square foot than complete replacement. Most driveways are between eight and 18 feet wide, and although some home repair enthusiasts tackle resurfacing projects themselves, some websites do recommend having the installation done by professionals.
Another option for concrete driveways is the installation of pavers, or small concrete blocks, that can offer an attractive return on investment in the event of a residential sale. Installing a colorful driveway can attract customers to a retail store, and although online shopping continues to expand its reach, the old-fashioned idea of “curb appeal” still remains relevant to brick-and-mortar stores.
For commercial driveways and parking lots, regular cleaning is necessary to prevent surface erosion. Asphalt, which is used in quantities greater than 350 million tons every year across America, is also highly recyclable. Along with recycled metal roof panels and reclaimed steel doors and windows, reusing asphalt from an old parking lot to help create the new one — or a new parking lot elsewhere — is seeing much higher levels of consumer demand.
More than 65 million tons of asphalt are reused each year, and driveway contractor businesses still install asphalt for residential driveways. Although concrete is also an extremely durable material, the look of a sleek, black driveway that has a new coat of sealant on it retains a strong appeal for homeowners. Homeowners should be advised, however, to avoid using caustic snow removal chemicals on asphalt and concrete driveways. There are specific chemicals available that will not damage sealant coats, and homeowners who use heavy cleaning or snow removal agents could find themselves having to reseal well in advance of the first decade mark.
Finding a local driveway contractor could be a good first step for homeowners who are thinking about undertaking major repairs. Driveway contractors should be able to evaluate the level of water damage, if any, and advise about the range of driveway repairs they can perform. As more options are added to the mix, homeowners may want to consider selecting a driveway color and style that adds style and appeal to their properties. Investing in driveways and other outdoor landscaping features may seem like a large project, but the finished product can make it worth the effort.