Curb Appeal: Why Driveways Are Damaged or Destroyed

Your driveway has an impact on your home’s curb appeal. It is one of the first things that your guests see when they pull up to your home, and it is also one of the last that they will see of your home when they drive away.

Curb appeal is even more important if you have any intention to sell your house. Many homeowners upgrade their driveways before putting the property up for sale to boost interest and value. In some places, a paved and well-maintained driveway can add up to $20,000 in the property’s resale price.

There are approximately 75 million driveways across the United States. It is a necessary part of a home, especially for households that own a car.

However, the driveway does not always look its best. Several factors can lead to cracks, potholes, and even sinking. Driveway repair and replacements are not cheap. It will cost you quite a lot of money. So, it is important to understand why these things happen in the first place.

Natural Wear and Tear

Your driveway is exposed to environmental elements daily. Moreover, the constant coming and going of your vehicle puts pressure on your driveway. These factors can lead to the formation of hairline cracks.

It might not seem like a big problem, but it is a sign of worse things to come. Cracks need to be patched immediately, or else you will be paying for expensive restoration.

Cracks allow moisture to seep into the ground. By winter, if the crack has not been sealed, the water will freeze and expand. As it does, the frozen ground will push up from the driveway’s surface, creating even bigger cracks.

It is not too late to repair cracks in your driveway. Ideally, homeowners should use a hot sealer to patch the opening. However, it is only applicable during warm weather conditions. Now that the temperature is dropping, a cold mix bitumen will shield the ground from moisture and prevent the driveway from breaking.

Experts recommend that homeowners remove any debris on the cracks before patching it for an even and more secure application. Better yet, allow a professional to do the work.

Soil Erosion

Water is dangerous to driveways. If moisture somehow seeps underneath, it will cause some problems. Aside from cracks, water can wash away or erode the stone or compacted soil under the driveway. Rainwater, in particular, is the culprit. If it ponds around the driveway, the soil will be saturated and the area will sink.

Driveways will sink over time because of settling. The driveway itself is heavy and, so combined with the weight of the passing vehicles, the surface will be pushed back into the ground. When the sinking is around 4 inches or more, then you should worry. Once it starts raining, the water will accumulate in the depression and destroy the entire driveway.

You can fix it by adding a layer of asphalt on top of the driveway. However, if the sinking destroyed parts of the driveway, you will need to replace them, which will be very expensive. You are looking at over $1,000 of expenses to remove and then stall a new slab.

Moreover, you can prevent it from happening by draining rainwater away from the driveway.

Thin Edges

The cracks that appear not in the middle of the driveway where the vehicles pass but on the sides only mean one thing: the material used was too thin around the edges. If that is the case, the material will break away into chunks over time. There is no way to prevent it from crumbling.

It would not be pretty, but it is not a big concern. Cracking around the edges likely will not affect the integrity of the entire driveway. Homeowners can prevent the chunks of asphalt from moving away and scattering by installing a birder or another sturdy material on the sides of the driveway.

Bad Installation Job

A crack on the driveway is bad. Multiple cracks forming a spiderweb or alligator pattern are so much worse.

There are two possible reasons for this: the homeowner used excessive sealers, or the asphalt installation is lousy. Either way, you have no choice but to remove the affected area and then install new material. At this point, there is no saving the driveway. The only thing you can do is start over.

Driveways play an important role in the house. They have a huge impact on the property’s curb appeal, increasing its resale value. However, it is prone to incur flaws over time. Understanding why driveways are damaged can help you prevent expensive repairs and replacements later on.

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