Do You Need a New Driveway? 5 Signs That Say Yes

New Driveway construction
If you live in an environment where seasons are marked by extreme weather elements, your driveway may suffer more than you know. Despite its beauty, the winter season can be unforgiving to your driveway. And while it may be very durable, come springtime, your driveway may show signs of distress or damage.

To determine if you need a new driveway, our local paving contractors share key signs of damage to look out for.

1. Cracks

Cracks are often the first signs of damage indicating that you may need a new driveway. Asphalt and concrete driveways alike will sustain cracks over time due to general wear and tear. Cracks may form more rapidly in seasonal climate conditions like hot summers and cold winters.

Cracks can also be made worse by water that seeps through the surface, particularly during winter. When chemicals such as de-icing salt, oil, gas and other harmful substances penetrate the driveway surface, cracks will also form.

When determining if you need to repair or replace your driveway, evaluate the length and width of the cracks. Narrow cracks, no wider than a quarter inch, are often cosmetic. These can often be filled in with crack-fillers or by patching the damaged area with material that can be troweled into the crack.

Cracks that are especially long, wide, or deep indicate extreme damage. In such cases, the damage is no longer cosmetic and replacement is required. If your driveway displays spider web cracks, a replacement will also be needed.

2. Age

Regardless of its material, most driveways will have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. The age of your driveway may determine if it needs replacing. If you’ve been meticulous with your driveway’s maintenance and you’re situated in a temperate climate, your driveway may not need to be replaced.

But if your driveway is pushing past its 20-year mark, it may be time to bring in a local paving and driveway contractor who can assess any underlying issues not visibly present. If it’s pushing 20, your once beautiful driveway will present an aged, weathered appearance due to the sun’s UV rays and oxidization.

If your driveway is past its 20-year mark, it may not be worth the effort to patch it. At that age, the extra work isn’t worth it and it simply delays the inevitable.

3. Drainage issues

Careful water management is essential for maintaining your driveway. Poor drainage can be the result of stormwater or snow and ice melting. If your driveway does not have adequate drainage, these sources of water could cause mold to grow, or worse, contribute to structural damage.

Inadequate driveway drainage creates excessive outdoor water which can cause other problems. In the winter, this can result in the formation of slippery ice. In the summer, pesky insects like mosquitoes are given a place to breed.

If your driveway has drainage issues, water could seep into your home and flood the garage or basement, damaging your home’s interior.

There are numerous options for dealing with drainage issues. If a complete replacement is justified, correctly grading the driveway will allow water to flow away from your residence. Adding curbing and drainage or inlets will ensure the water has a place to go.

4. Potholes

Potholes are not only unsightly but can be problematic for your car, and become safety hazards for you and your family.

Potholes form as the ground beneath the paving expands and contracts over time. A classic indicator of an aging driveway, a pothole normally occurs in the winter due to the freeze-thaw cycle but can also form through natural geological movement.

The addition of excess traffic can contribute to the formation of potholes in your driveway.

Fixing a pothole is determined by its size. Similar to when it is noticed at an early stage, measures can be taken to solve the problem. Minor potholes can be filled, saving on expenses. A replacement may be in order if the pothole is too big for a repair or if your driveway is nearing the end of its lifespan.

5. A shifting driveway

A driveway that appears uneven in places is a sign that critical structural damage has occurred. If your driveway has visible areas of sinking or rising, this can indicate that the underlying soil was not properly compacted or the surface beneath your driveway is unstable.

Poor drainage and extreme wet and dry conditions can also contribute to a shifting driveway. Improper drainage can wash out the underlying soil and extreme temperature changes can shrink and expand the soil supporting your driveway.

When your driveway’s appearance is exceptionally sunken, that’s a good indicator that a replacement is required.

Considering your options

If your driveway begins to present any of these signs, it may be time to replace your driveway. If you’ve come to the realization that you need a new driveway, call us today and we’ll provide you with a free, easy quote. Our nearly 50 years of driveway maintenance experience ensures you will get the very best service and quality at an affordable price.

Your driveway is part of your home’s investment. Let Shattuck Paving help give your home a fresh, updated driveway that will last for years to come.