Concrete Driveways – Repair or Replace?

Concrete basketball courtShould you repair or replace your concrete driveway?

Despite being a long, flat stretch, driveways can actually be really expensive to install. That’s because to do it properly, you first need to lay a proper foundation.

Because of this, many opt not to completely replace their driveways, choosing instead just to deal with the growing fissures and crumbling spots in their drive. While this is much more cost effective in the short run, it could cause additional problems down the road.

The decision to repair or replace your driveway requires several considerations.

Driveway Repairs

Concrete should be replaced if due to the three conditions listed below:

  1. widespread, deep cracks or fissures
  2. sunken or depressed concrete
  3. buckling or mounded concrete, where the moisture in the ground freezes and the concrete pushes upward.


masonry_repair_charlotte_ncDriveway cracks that are less than a quarter-inch wide don’t really indicate any deeper damage to the driveway surface and can be repaired easily with liquid crack-fillers.

Driveway cracks that are larger than a quarter-inch in your driveway or are more than a few inches deep signal issues. A temporarily solution such as filling in cracks only adds a bandaid to a significant problem.

You can fix driveway holes using a patching material that you tamp down to be even in height with the rest of your driveway. The fixes are always temporary because water will seep in between the old and new material and start to open up the hole again.

You’ll eventually have to replace concrete and asphalt driveways with deep holes, numerous holes or large cracks. Patching could push this replacement back a few years, and the driveway will look less than ideal during that time.

The age of your driveway matters. If your asphalt driveway is approaching 20+ years old, it’s probably time to just completely redo the whole thing.

What Does It Cost to Repair or Replace Your Concrete Driveway?

While many factors can impact the cost, the cost for a newly installed standard concrete driveway will run between $6 and $9 a square foot. So, for a 12 x 50 foot driveway, estimates range between $3,600 and $5,400 for a newly installed, concrete driveway. Repair costs vary significantly depending upon the type of repair technique used.

Outside Factors That Determine Driveway Replacement

Let’s face it,  driveways complete the look of many houses, and having a good looking one could be very important to some homeowners. Alternatively, if you are trying to sell your home, buyers may look at cracked or crumbling driveways as big turnoffs.

If you fall into this category, redoing your drive will be preferable to patching. These patches won’t be completely invisible and as we noted the problems may show at unexpected times.

ROI’s on driveway replacements are quite low but they act as a selling tool such as a mown lawn and clean exterior will.

Questions about the state of your concrete driveway? Contact us for a free estimate and advice on how to get the best looking driveway in the neighborhood.