If you own a home, you know that you have to stay ahead of the repair curve. Ignoring even minor problems with your home can lead to sometimes horrible outcomes, and a problem with your house that starts small can snowball into a giant money pit if left untreated. Most people know to replace their water heaters and maintain their sump pumps in a timely manner, but people don’t always think about the structural integrity of their driveways. Driveways sustain daily wear and tear; and, despite how strong concrete is, it has a difficult time maintaining its structure over the years, especially when 4,000-pound vehicles drive over it every day of the week!
Even if you take great care of your concrete, it will show signs of damage given enough time. You might be wondering, though: what are some of the signs that I need to repair or resurface my concrete? Listed in the section below are the four most common signs that it’s time to repair or mudjack your driveway. By identifying these signs and taking action while the problems are still small, you can and will save money in the long run.
Your Driveway Has Multiple Cracks
Most driveways have cracks in them—there is simply no avoiding concrete cracking. But, not all cracks are necessarily bad nor are they cause for concern. In the short term, most cracks are harmless; that said, even the smallest crack, given enough time, can turn into a big problem. Especially in a region with a cold climate, like Wisconsin and the northern states in the Midwest, cracks in the winter can become huge problems. When water slips into small cracks and freezes, which commonly occurs in the winter, the water expands outward in all directions. Over time, the frozen water accumulates and pushes the space between the cracks further and further apart, resulting in a longer, deeper crack in your driveway. Aside from water and ice damage, cracks also allow invasive weeds and small plants to grow within the cracks. This problem can be especially hard to deal with because not only do the plants grow up and out, their roots burrow deep into the ground (and sometimes even break through the foundation!). Allowing plants to grow in driveway cracks is a huge problem that needs to be addressed much sooner than later. By resealing and resurfacing cracks in your driveway, you will drastically increase its lifetime and cut costs later down the road.
Your Driveway Has Sunken Areas
Although cracks in and of themselves aren’t necessarily problems, sunken areas in your driveway are problems that should be addressed right away. These sunken regions should concern you because leaving them untreated leads to complex problems in the future (sometimes the not too distant future). If you notice that portions of your driveway are sagging, it is time to think about repairing that portion immediately. Mudjacking is a cost-effective way to save your driveway as opposed to a full-blown repair—rather than tearing out the entire driveway, flattening the foundation, and pouring brand new concrete, mudjackers drill holes into your concrete and inject the sub-structure with a mixture of soil and concrete. This will prop up the sagging portions of your concrete, and then we can level out the surface where the two slabs meet. If left untreated, water can seep into the foundation of your driveway and spread along the entirety of the driveway and eventually sink it—if this goes untreated, you might end up having to replace the whole driveway rather than one smaller region of sunken concrete.
Your Driveway Is Warped or Uneven
If you own more than two vehicles, or if you have work done on your house by contractors, you might experience a lot of in-and-out traffic on your driveway. Over time, you might notice that the concrete or asphalt on your drive doesn’t quite look the way it used to—especially if you have a slab driveway, you will notice warping over time. You may also notice that portions of the driveway are slightly off-kilter. This is due to the heavy traffic of vehicles and other heavy loads that the concrete has to bear over the years. Repairing warped or uneven concrete requires specialized equipment and professional know-how—a solution like mudjacking, again, is preferable to complete driveway replacement. If left untreated, you run the risk of exposing the rest of your driveway’s foundation and allowing water to pool, both of which lead to bigger, widespread problems with the rest of your property.
Your Driveway Is Allowing Water to Pool
It’s not unusual for small pools of water to stick around after a heavy storm. Concrete is porous, and small pockets in the concrete are generally not cause for concern; however, if you notice that large pools of water gathering on your driveway, you should know that this is a red flag. Driveways are usually equipped with drainage systems: some have gutters and some are sloped. Either way, construction companies are mindful of water damage, and it is in their best interest to make sure that your driveway drains successfully. When water pools across a driveway, the chances of water finding its way into small cracks increases dramatically, which ultimately leads to bigger problems with your foundation. If left untreated, you run the risk of letting water seep into the foundation of your driveway and beyond—even your sidewalks and walkways are at risk of water damage when left untreated (assuming your driveway connects to a walkway). Taking care of pooling water before it gets out of hand, again, will give you peace of mind and prevent a disaster to the rest of your property.
If your driveway is showing any of these four critical signs that it’s time to repair or mudjack your driveway, contact Level Headed Mudjackers today for a free estimate. Our team is dedicated to making sure that your home is taken care of, and we will do everything we can to make sure the job is done to meet your high standards. We received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and are leaders in our community. But don’t take our word for it, check out what our happy customers have to say about our A+ service! We look forward to restoring your concrete to pristine condition.