Concrete is an incredibly durable material. A good concrete driveway can last decades — 50 years or more.
However, there are many factors that determine how long a concrete driveway might last: the skill of the concrete flatwork finisher who installed it, whether it has been properly maintained, whether harsh chemicals have been used on the concrete during winter, how severe the weather has been, whether the driveway is surrounded by large trees whose roots might be buckling the concrete, how large the vehicles have been that have used the driveway, and many more.
Here are a few signs that you might need a concrete driveway replacement:
Potholes and puddles. When puddles remain on your driveway after the rain, you could be dealing with uneven concrete or settling substrate. Often, this can be the result of underlying drainage issues. Either the driveway is not properly sloped, leading to pooling on the concrete surface, or the ground beneath the concrete has been eroding and causing the concrete to sink. Minor sinking can sometimes be repaired via slab levelling, but it’s not likely to be a long-term solution.
Numerous cracks in the concrete surface. It’s a fact that concrete cracks. Properly installed concrete typically will crack along the joints, so you won’t even see them (in fact, that’s the whole purpose of concrete joints to begin with). However, if your concrete driveway has numerous other cracks spidering across the surface, it’s likely a sign that your concrete is failing — usually due to settling or erosion under the concrete surface.
Spalling. This is when the top surface of the concrete flakes away, revealing more of the aggregate (small stones) in the concrete and resulting in an uneven surface. Cosmetics aside, that in itself isn’t a huge problem, but it can lead to further deterioration of the concrete if it’s not dealt with properly. If your concrete driveway has been spalling for years without being treated, your concrete might be beyond repair.
If your concrete driveway is showing some of the signs of deterioration, it’s probably time to give Custom Concrete Contracting a call to talk about a new driveway. We work throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties. Many great driveway design options are available, from a simple broom-finished driveway to more decorative options like stamped concrete or driveways that utilize multiple materials, such as traditional and pervious concrete combined.