One of the questions we get asked most often is: “Can you fix my concrete driveway or does it need to be replaced?” Although the decision is often personal, whether to repair or replace has to be determined on a case-by-case basis because it comes down to the origin and extent of the damage.
A decade ago replacing damaged concrete was often the only choice. But things have changed. Construction has been positively affected by technology and now repair products are stronger and more durable than their predecessors.
If the work can be restored to its original integrity or if the surface is merely worn down or slightly chipped, then a repair is a viable option. However, if the concrete has deteriorated due to something like poor installation or weather conditions, replacing the existing driveway would be the best option.
It’s important to point out concrete will eventually wear out. Over time, the elements will cause the concrete to break down. It expands in the heat and contracts in the cold, resulting in cracking due to the stress caused by the expansion and contraction. A good rule of thumb is this: if the repair requires more than two inches of material, replace the concrete. If it’s less than that, it can probably be restored to its original integrity and aesthetics.
As I started saying, whether to replace or repair will almost always be subjective. When time, money and resources are a priority, repairing is usually the most attractive alternative. But if the situation is more obvious or problematic, replacing is the only option. Either way, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself and request at least two quotes.